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Bedford Borough’s First Virtual Planning Committee Meeting ‘Makes Democracy Happen in Difficult Circumstances’

May 19, 2020 4:58 PM
Originally published by Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats

Cllr Jon AbbottThe Chair of Bedford Borough Council's Planning Committee has thanked everyone involved for 'making democracy happen in difficult circumstances', after the committee's first virtual meeting took place last night.

The meeting, which was broadcast live on YouTube, saw committee members, Council officers and members of the public take part remotely online via video due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The committee's first item of business in what was the first meeting of the new council year was to elect its Chair, with Liberal Democrat Cllr Abbott re-elected to the role he held last year.

Commenting today, Cllr Abbott said: "I want to thank everyone who helped make democracy happen last night in difficult circumstances. Clearly online meetings are not ideal, and we would all prefer to debate and decide matters in person. But it's pleasing that last night's meeting saw people able to follow the meeting live from home, and enabled public participation for and against applications.'

"Everyone is learning as they go to some degree under the new arrangements and I am grateful to councillors and officers for their efforts, and in particular to members of the public for making sure we could hear and consider their views directly."

The meeting, which commenced at 6:30pm and concluded shortly before 10pm, saw the committee make determinations on a range of residential and commercial development applications, in accordance with new government regulations enabling virtual Council committee meetings.

The agenda and papers for the meeting are available at https://www.councillorsupport.bedford.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=245&MId=4924&Ver=4, where the meeting minutes will also be available in due course.

The video broadcast of the meeting is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-X2yuJW5NQM&feature=youtu.be