On Wednesday Peter Bottomley asked a very significant question and the answer was very disturbing. The answer came from Kemi Badenoch and the question was headlined with the title “Local Government: Video Conferencing” and it was focused on the Department for levelling up housing and communities. The question and answer was as shown below and it can be found here. The big challenge is how can the Government ask for evidence and successfully receives it after 12 weeks and then spends 32 weeks and simply claims it will “respond shortly”. Here are the question and answer, let us hope that in due course the Government will be replaced!
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will (a) enable and (b) encourage local and parish councils to hold remote and hybrid meetings; and if he will make a statement.
Kemi Badenoch: We launched a call for evidence on 25 March to gather views and inform a longer-term decision about whether to make express provision for councils to meet remotely on a permanent basis. The call for evidence closed on 17 June. The Department has considered the responses to the consultation and the Government will respond shortly.