Community Council meetings to resume online

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Strathaven and Glassford community Council has been unable to meet since February 2020. Urgent issues have been dealt with throughout that time and it has continued to successfully operate both the Micro Grant Scheme and the Kype Muir Community Fund, with awards made throughout the year to eligible groups.

We are delighted that a change to the rules governing Community Council meetings means that from February 2021 this can change.

Community councils can now meet online across South Lanarkshire after an update to their rules. The move is in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has made it difficult for meetings to be held because the existing guidelines said that members had to be physically present and proceedings had to be open for both the public and media to attend. 

As community councils could not meet these conditions safely, a public consultation was held to help decide the best way forward. The consultation found considerable support for allowing community councils to hold meetings virtually. 

Amendments to the South Lanarkshire Scheme of Establishment of Community Councils were then agreed at a special meeting of South Lanarkshire Council on Wednesday 16 December, allowing meetings to be held either in person or online. 

Council Leader John Ross said: “I want to thank everyone who took the time to take part in the consultation exercise. Community councils are an important layer of local democracy and these changes will enable them to continue their work, even in such challenging circumstances as we currently face.” 

The consultation raised a number of issues, including the availability of equipment and internet provision in some locations, and the role of specific office holders in making the decision to hold meetings remotely, all of which were taken into account. 

Each community council will now be able to decide the most appropriate arrangements to allow their meetings to go ahead safely. This could include technology-based solutions such as video and/or tele conferencing. These are already successfully being used for South Lanarkshire Council meetings. 

Strathaven and Glassford community Council meetings will therefore resume at the end of February and details will be published on the website nearer the time. As with all community council meetings, they are open to the public and details will appear on our website and on our Facebook page nearer the time. Anyone wishing to attend will need to have access to a Zoom account and just follow the published login details.

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