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Accessible council meetings

EDM (Early Day Motion) 264: tabled on 11 July 2022

Tabled in the 2022-23 session.

This motion has been signed by 17 Members. It has not yet had any amendments submitted.

Motion text

That this House is concerned that the emergency regulations that allowed councils to conduct meetings remotely between 2 April 2020 and 7 May 2021, and which enabled disabled people and people with caring responsibilities to fully and fairly participate, are no longer in place; notes the Local Government Association's (LGA) call to reinstate hybrid meetings and their statement that this kind of flexibility is vital in attracting a wider range of people to stand as local election candidates; further notes the findings from the LGA in June 2022 that 72 per cent of councillors surveyed felt a hybrid model could attract more ethnic minority people, younger people and women to stand in local elections; is alarmed by the LGA council survey carried out between October and November 2021, which found that returning exclusively to in-person meetings had resulted in 72 per cent of councils seeing a drop in councillor attendance at statutory meetings and a 73 per cent drop in public attendance; welcomes the findings from a 2021 YouGov survey that found that 60 per cent of people said, given a choice, they would prefer to work remotely at least some of the time and research from the International Energy Agency that suggests remote working can lead to a reduction in climate emissions; and calls on the Government to make democracy more accessible this Disability Pride Month by making permanent the express provision for hybrid council meetings.