Bristol City Council will start holding virtual public council meetings from tomorrow (April 22), as local authorities across the UK work with lockdown conditions due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Council members can access the remote public meetings using virtual conferencing software Zoom, and will use Skype for Business for meetings that consider exempt items.
Voting at public meetings will take place either using Zoom’s built-in polling system, by a show of hands, or by roll call at full council.
The public can submit public statements, questions and petitions in advance of the virtual meeting.
The council is considering options to enhance public participation, including being able to ask questions via Zoom, which is due to be in place following next month’s full council meeting.
All non-exempt public meetings will be broadcast, which includes full council, cabinet, development control committee and licensing.
Mayor Marvin Rees said: “Technology really has come to our aid here, giving us the opportunity to continue vital council operations while also observing social distancing guidance.
“Using video conferencing will enable the process for decision-making to be made remotely in a way that is lawful, transparent and fair.”
The virtual public meetings will be broadcast live on YouTube, with links to upcoming broadcasts updated here.