During lockdown, local councils have held meetings online. Residents have been able to see how decisions are made and the way their councillors behave.
That’s surprised some viewers. Arguments during meetings of Shaftesbury Town Council and Cheshire’s Handforth Parish Council have been highlighted in national press articles. The government now says virtual meetings must end from 7th May as normal life slowly returns.
It’s a problem for several Shaftesbury-area councils, who won’t have a COVID-19 compliant meeting space until social distancing regulations are removed on 21st of June. The ruling means residents may lose the chance to watch the democratic process in action online.
Alfred hears how Dorset Council, Semley, Melbury Abbas and Motcombe Parish Councils, and Shaftesbury Town Council are addressing this challenge.