Access to future Council meetings

 I am pleased to advise that we are now in a position to offer the press and media the facility to remotely attend future Council and Committee meetings starting with the next meeting of our Governance and Scrutiny Committee on 22 April.

This will apply in respect of the full Council and all other main Committees and Panels, subject only to the normal provisions of the Local Government ( Scotland) Act 1973 as they relate to press and public access to meetings, and will remain in place at least until the current Public Health restrictions imposed by the Covid regulations are completely removed.

If you wish to remotely attend/observe any future meetings then please advise the Communications Team (Communications.PR@east-ayrshire.gov.uk) and we will arrange to have the appropriate link sent to you in advance of the meeting in question.

As you know, both the 1973 Act and the Council’s own Standing Orders in relation to the conduct of meetings place certain restrictions on members of the press and public when attending Council meetings and we obviously require to replicate those in the context of remote attendees.

The procedure for attending remote meetings will be as follows:

  1. Please register your interest in any Council/ Committee meeting in advance with the Communications Team (Communications.PR@east-ayrshire.gov.uk) providing your name, organisation and email address.
  2. We will then send you the link in advance of the meeting in question.
  3. Please join in good time to allow any technical issues to be identified and addressed ( e.g. 5 minutes before the start)
  4. You will be held in the lobby until the meeting Chair confirms your entry to the meeting.
  5.  Member of  the press are unable to ask questions, make comment or otherwise participate in the business of the meeting, so please note this and ensure your microphone is muted at all times.
  6. You are not permitted to record, video or take screen shots of any part of the proceedings, nor to reproduce, publish or broadcast any such recordings or images.
  7. There may be occasions when we have to exclude the press from particular agenda items which fall within the exemptions set out in the 1973 Act. We generally try to keep  these to a minimum and to the end of agendas, but necessary, we will ask you to leave  the session and re-admit  you for any later public items.
  8. If your circumstances change and you can’t “attend “please DO NOT transfer or pass on your link and invite to a colleague. If someone else is wishing to cover for you then please let us know and we’ll send them their own link.

Finally, I would confirm that we are also currently making arrangements to introduce delayed broadcasting of our Council and Committee meetings, which will be subject to a report to Cabinet in due course and we will let you know more about that shortly.

Thank you,

Lynne Buchanan, Communications Manager, East Ayrshire Council.

 

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