Council meetings go online for Level 5

November 25th, 2020 10:05 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Councillors voted to amend standing orders to allow remote Cork County Council meetings to take place during the current Level 5 lockdown.

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CORK County Council meetings will now be able to take place remotely after councillors voted unanimously to change standing orders to facilitate this move.

At a meeting of the local authority last week, 45 councillors voted in favour of allowing remote meetings during the current Level 5 lockdown.

Cllr John Paul O’Shea (FG) said his party was supporting this move to remote meetings and said they ‘must lead by example’ in the Council chamber.

‘We support this wholly while we are in Level 5 and certainly we can review it again in December when we come out of it,’ said Cllr O’Shea.

Cllr Seamus McGrath (FF) said this move is necessary and said while they are essential workers, this will allow them to act responsibly.

Councillors were told that a phone dial up system is available for those with broadband connection issues and that Municipal District meetings will continue to be held in person as these involve smaller numbers.

However, Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) said that Microsoft Teams, which is being used by Cork County Council for meetings is ‘not perfect’ by a long  shot.

‘While on two recent meetings it broke down and we had to text the chair and the faces of those present at one meeting weren’t available either. It’s not perfect and it’s important to ensure all iPads can take this. It’s important we get this right,’ said Cllr Murphy.

County Mayor Cllr Mary Linehan Foley (Ind) said that the IT department will look into that matter and said that remote meetings will allow for a happy medium for councillors who do not want to come into chamber. She thanked all the members of the Corporate Policy Group for their input.

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