Governance arrangements at a local level during a pandemic
We look at how councils have had to make some rapid decisions about how best to run their services during COVID-19.
Given the speed in which the pandemic hit the UK in March, it was inevitable that emergency governance arrangements would be needed.
Effective scrutiny is a key component of good, transparent decision-making, and an essential pillar of the democratic process. The use of emergency powers has helped councils take necessary decisions when time was of the essence.
Most councils have now begun to hold Cabinet meetings, but only half of them will have held virtual meetings of their scrutiny committees by the middle of July.
We look at the benefits that virtual meetings offer. They could cut councillors’ travel time, costs, and associated environmental impact. In addition, the live webcasting of meetings has the potential to increase public accessibility and engagement with council business.