Council defends return to online meetings in wake of IT issues

By Ted Peskett - Local Democracy Reporter

17th Nov 2022 | Local News

Vale of Glamorgan has responded to criticism by saying it is working hard to bring back hybrid meetings after it was slammed for returning to a remote format.

The council notified its members that meetings will be continuing in a remote-only format until next year after it experienced some technical difficulties with Civico – a web-casting platform which allows the council to hold hybrid meetings.

The technical issues were experienced during a meeting of full council on 26 September.

Opposition councillors have slammed the council over the issue.

Leader of the Vale Conservative councillors, Cllr George Carroll, said: "Meeting in person allows better interaction between members, which in turn produces better debate. This improves scrutiny all round.

"The lack of hybrid meetings has had a detrimental impact on decision making. These technical issues should have been dealt with immediately.

"It should have been treated as a priority and not allowed to drag on for so long."

The council said it is working closely with Civico to identify and resolve any issues that could affect any future hybrid meetings.

A number of tests will take place over November and December with a view to resume the use of Civico for hybrid meetings from January 19.

A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesperson said: "As indicated in correspondence sent to all councillors, officers are working hard to address recent technical issues with the aim of operating hybrid meetings from January.

"Problems with the Civico hybrid meeting system are being resolved and the system tested ahead of its reintroduction in a couple of months.

"In the meantime, council meetings will take place remotely via Teams, an approach that has been used extensively over the last few years and allows all parties to fully participate in the democratic process."

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