A WEST Cork councillor is calling for all councillors to be allowed return immediately to the chamber for full Council meetings.
Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) raised the matter at the end of this week’s meeting of the local authority, which started almost half an hour late due to technical and sound issues.
At the moment, 35 councillors attend the meeting in chamber, while the remainder attend remotely using Microsoft Teams. However, cllr Carroll said that it is ‘imperative’ that they be immediately allowed to return to the chamber for full meetings of the local authority.
‘What happened this morning with the delay really shows that these things are not a success. They are a success up to a point but we really need to be sitting in the chamber debating and doing things properly,’ said Cllr Carroll.
However, Council chief executive Tim Lucey said they will remain ‘prudent’ for now and keep the current quota allowed into the chamber for Council meetings.
‘We all have to wait until October 22nd and after that we will still be subject to whatever public health guidelines are there at that particular time,’ said Mr Lucey.
‘There’s no change for any requirement regarding the 2m social distancing rule in the office space or meetings and that has to be complied with. There is reference to 60% capacity for those who are vaccinated, but you also have to achieve 2m social distancing still.’
Mr Lucey added that he will notify the corporate policy group next week to see what the next phase of re-opening means for them.
He also said that some councillors may prefer to attend meetings remotely so that would be taken into consideration too.