LIVE streaming in-person meetings via Zoom are to be trialled by the Royal Borough next week.

Throughout the pandemic, councils across the country have been convening remotely via video conferences to discuss and make important decisions that impact their community.

Despite coronavirus still present in the UK, the High Court ruled council meetings in England must place in person from May 7, dashing hopes remote meetings can continue.

Following this announcement, the Local Democracy Reporting Service asked the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead how meetings will be conducted.

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A council spokesman said they will be ‘trialling’ Zoom at the first face-to-face meeting, the Audit and Governance Committee, on Monday and are looking into ‘longer-term solutions’ to live stream committees and meetings.

Before the pandemic, unlike Slough Borough Council who live-stream their council meetings, the Royal Borough used Periscope to live stream some of their meetings and/or released an audio file of the meeting a few days later.

The spokesman said: “Public seating will be socially distanced, and the number of seats will depend on the layout of the room/size of the committee.

“For larger meetings with significant public interest we are using external venues.

“For example, the Royal Borough Development Management Panel on May 19 will be held at the Holiday Inn in Maidenhead.

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“Only people who wish to register as a public speaker have to do so in advance.

“There is also a QR code at reception in the Town Hall and at York House and people will be encouraged to scan the code when attending a meeting. This is contained within the council’s risk assessment.”

They added anyone wanting to attend in person must wear a face mask (unless exempt) and people will not be required to take a lateral flow test but are encouraged to do so.

Anyone who has Covid symptoms, such as high temperature, must stay at home.

Slough Borough Council

Slough Borough Council

A spokesman for Slough Borough Council said they will continue to be streaming meetings via their website and if people wish to watch in person, they must contact the council and arrangements will be made.

The annual council meeting will take place at the Centre in Farnham Road rather than the council chambers to fit officers and 42 councillors at a social distance.