In light of Plan B restrictions and the ever-increasing spread of the Omicron variant, an MP is calling on the Government to allow councils to hold their meetings virtually again.

Councils have been required to meet in-person since May 7, 2021, when the legislation allowing for virtual meetings expired. This means that local authorities have been required to hold in person meetings, in spite of national guidance to work from home.

Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon said: “It is not right that councillors are being put at greater risk than others just to be able to represent their communities. We know that virtual proceedings can be carried out very successfully, as councils showed earlier in the pandemic.”

Read also: Abingdon Food Bank prepares 250 Christmas food parcels

Vale of White Horse District Council have been calling for these measures since the summer.

Councillor Emily Smith, leader of Vale of White Horse District Council, said: "Many councillors are vulnerable or have vulnerable family members. Not allowing them to vote and take part in decision making on-line disenfranchises them, and the residents they represent. Councils proved last year that on-line council meetings worked well and increased transparency and participation of the public.

“With record numbers of Covid cases I see no reason why councils shouldn't be allowed to hold meetings online if that is safer and more practical locally. I urge Government to pass legislation to enable safe and open remote council meetings to be permitted as a matter of urgency."

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok

Got a story for us? Send us your news and pictures here

List an event for free on our website here