Draft Protocol for Remote
Preshute Parish Council
1.1. On 4th April 2020 the Government introduced The Local
Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility
of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England
and Wales) Regulations 2020 which allows local councils to meet
remotely. These regulations apply to meetings held before
7th May 2021.
In order to meet the regulations, the following conditions must be
Members in remote attendance must be able:
a. to hear, and
where practicable see, and be so heard and, where practicable,
be seen by, the other members in attendance,
b. to hear, and where practicable see, and be
so heard and, where practicable, be seen by, any members of the
public entitled to attend the meeting in order to exercise a
right to speak at the meeting, and
c. to be so heard and, where practicable, be
seen by any other members of the public attending the meeting.
2.0. For the purposes of holding remote meetings, Preshute Parish
Council will use Zoom.
2.1. Guidance on how to use the video-conferencing platform will
be circulated to all members and officers and will be publicly
available on the Council’s website.
2.2. Members or officers will advise the Clerk of any technical
issues relating to access to these meetings.
3.0. Preparation for Meetings
3.1. The meeting will be advertised on the Council’s website and
all members and officers due to attend will be issued with a
notice and agenda by email. This will be within the usual
timeframe for meeting notices.
3.2. All non-confidential meeting papers will be available on the
3.3. Minutes will be taken in the usual way and displayed on the
website [in line with the Council’s Transparency Code].
Minutes will be circulated after the meeting and signed at a
future face-to-face meeting once restriction have been lifted.
3.4. Where a member is unable to attend a meeting, apologies will
be submitted and received in the usual way.
3.5. The meetings will be open to the public and ways of accessing
the meeting will explained on the agenda (or on the meeting
3.6. The same standards of behaviour are applied to remote
meetings as to physical meetings. All members are bound by the
Council’s Code of Conduct.
Members, officers and members of the public are asked to be
patient with those who are less experienced in such meetings.
3.7. Members and officers in attendance at the meeting are
reminded to check the background of their video range in order to
ensure confidentiality, data protection and Code of Conduct
requirements are met.
3.8. It is possible that technical issues may arise. It may
be necessary for the host to request clarification or ask for
dialogue to be repeated to make sure everyone can be heard and
that they have the correct information for the minutes.
3.9. Those in attendance are asked to physically raise their hands
when they wish to speak. Anyone dialing in by telephone will
be advised of a word to use to enable them to “raise a hand”
3.10. Where a councillor has an interest in a matter and would
normally leave a physical meeting, they will exit the
meeting. They will either wait in the virtual “waiting room”
or leave completely and be advised by text message (by the Clerk)
when they can return to the meeting.
3.11. It may be necessary for members to prepare themselves for
the meeting in a different way than usual. Where members do
not have access to a printer, it may be necessary to familiarise
themselves with the agenda and any reports beforehand.
4.0. The Meeting
4.1. The Clerk of the Council will set up and technically host the
meeting. An email invitation, with an explanation of how to
access the meeting, will be sent to all members,
4.2. Councillors are asked to ensure they are in a place with as
little background noise as possible. Once checks have been carried
out to ensure that everyone in attendance can be heard, all those
in attendance are asked to “mute” their microphones until such a
time as they are ready to speak. This eliminates background and
feedback as well as ensures people are not talking over one
another as there can sometimes be a time delay. Where this
is not done, the host of the meeting may mute attendees
4.3. Whilst the Clerk is hosting the meeting, it will be chaired
in the usual manner. There is a possibility that there will
be more input from the Clerk than is usual given that, where
members do not have access to a printer, it is possible that they
will not be able to use the computer video function and look at
the agenda and/or supporting papers at the same time.
4.4. It is possible that the meeting will be recorded (via the
video conferencing platform itself). This is to aid the
writing of minutes in a situation where the minute-taker is
involved with technical aspects of the meeting as well as for
openness and transparency.
4.5. If a vote is required, those attending by video will be asked
to raise their hand until they have been advised that their vote
has been recorded. Any members attending by telephone will
be asked to express their vote vocally.
4.6. If you have difficulty hearing or being heard throughout the
meeting, you are asked to advise the Clerk via the text “chat”
function. Please be aware that this can be seen by everyone
5.0. Public Participation
5.1. The agenda will invite the public to attend and will include
information of how to access meetings.
5.2. The usual public participation session will take place.
Members of the public are reminded that the Council cannot make
any decisions on matters that do not appear on the agenda.
If members of the public have questions about matters not on the
agenda, they are requested to contact the Council outside of the
5.4. The meeting host may remove anyone from the meeting who is
being intentionally disruptive, using offensive language or
incessantly interrupting the meeting proceedings.
6.0. Relation to other policies and procedures
6.1. The Clerk will ensure that Data Protection requirements are
followed when organising remote meetings
6.2. Members of the Council and members of the public are asked to
ensure that they do not breach the General Data Protection
Regulations (GDPR) and general confidentiality when they
contribute to the meeting.
6.3. Where relevant, the Council’s Privacy Notices will be amended
to incorporate remote meetings
6.4. Where relevant, the Council’s Risk Assessment will be amended
to incorporate remote meetings