Speaking after the Local Government (Meetings and Performance) Act (NI) 2021 received Royal Assent, NILGA President Cllr Robert Burgess said:
“This is a welcome and significant step which will help councils carry out their vital statutory duties. The Covid pandemic has presented serious challenges for our local councils, both financially and resourcefully. This is a necessary step that will allow local government, elected members, and council officers to continue carrying out essential business for their constituents and communities.
“Councils have worked diligently throughout the last 18 months to continue providing core services and to host meetings in alternative ways, like virtually and, increasingly, in hybrid form. This has served councils well and local government has proven its flexibility and responsiveness throughout the pandemic. This new legislation will provide certainty to councils, councillors, council officers, and ratepayers for the foreseeable future and ensure that democratic decision making is preserved well into 2022.”
Notes to editors
The Local Government (Meetings and Performance) Act (NI) 2021 grants councils in NI the continued flexibility to hold meetings by remote or hybrid means until the Coronavirus Act 2020 expires (currently scheduled for 25 March 2022)