ADSO and LLG (along with Hertfordshire County Council) have received permission to expedite our claim for a declaration in the High Court which will provide certainty for local authorities on whether they can continue to hold meetings remotely past the 6th May 2021 deadline, due to the expiry of the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations (No.392).
On 23rd March 2021, a hearing was held at which the court issued directions for the matter to proceed within a timeline which will ensure the case will be decided before the end of April.
LLG and ADSO have built a strong case and remain optimistic that the outcome of the proceedings will result in a favourable outcome for local authorities to have local choice and flexibility, as to when they want to use remote meetings. We are however, encouraging authorities to make contingency arrangements to ensure they are well placed to continue decision making from 7th May onwards in the event the outcome does not support our objectives.
When the hearing date has been confirmed, we will issue a further press release to confirm this.
John Austin Quentin Baker
24th March 2021