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Devon Lib Dems slam ‘ludicrous’ decision to force local councils to meet in person from May

March 30, 2021 12:54 PM
Originally published by Devon Liberal Democrats

Council Offices

Devon Liberal Democrats have criticised Government plans to force local councils to scrap virtual calls and return to face-to-face meetings in person from May.

Last night the minister for Local Government, Luke Hall wrote to council leaders to inform them that emergency legislation allowing virtual council meetings will not be extended beyond May 7th.

Leader of the Lib Dem Group on Devon County Council, Alan Connett said:

"Forcing local councils to meet face-to-face in just over a month's time makes no sense and potentially puts people at risk.

"Making large groups of people meet indoors for meetings which often last more than two hours, when we're trying to stop the spread of COVID-19, is unbelievably daft. This affects councillors and council staff. Some may have had Covid jabs, some not and some may have clinically vulnerable family at home.

"It should be up to our local councils to decide when it is safe to return - not the Conservative Government."

David Chalmers, Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for Torridge and West Devon, said:

"Preventing Councils from 7 May from being able to continue meeting remotely, will in effect be shutting down local government.

"This just proves the contempt the Tories hold for accountable, representative local democracy - just as we start the campaign for the county elections. You couldn't make this up!"