Council says virtual meetings would save carbon and taxpayers' cash

North Norfolk District Council is doing an IT upgrade, meaning its local search departmet is closed

North Norfolk District Council made the decision to write to Michael Gove at a meeting on Wednesday night - Credit: Archant

North Norfolk District Council has voted to write to Secretary of State Michael Gove to request that English councils be allowed to host hybrid meetings, with some councillors joining online. 

A High Court ruling earlier this year found that councils could not continue to meet and vote virtually, as they had been since March 2020. 

The Northern Ireland Assembly agreed however to allow councils to take the opposite approach if they chose, with Wales and Scotland already allowing it. 

Councillor John Rest. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Councillor John Rest, leader of the council's independent group, proposed the motion.

The motion, discussed at a Wednesday meeting and proposed by independent group leader John Rest, stated: “Whilst we will always want councillors to be able to meet in person, there needs to be the provision for some to be online, for example if they are vulnerable, have caring responsibilities or difficulties with transport.

"It is also in line with reducing carbon emissions to zero by 2030.”

North Norfolk district councillor Angie Fitch-Tillett.

Independent councillor Angie Fitch-Tillett seconded the motion - Credit: Mark Bullimore

Seconding the motion was councillor Angie Fitch-Tillett, who pointed out that taxpayers’ money would be saved by fewer travelling expenses being claimed.