Council meetings to move online

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Last Updated: 01 May 2020 11:26am

Meetings of Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council are to resume after a two-month suspension caused by the coronavirus lockdown.

The first meeting will be of the council’s cabinet members on 19 May and will take place online via Microsoft Teams. Council leader Nicolas Heslop will use the meeting to assess the impact of the outbreak and to set out proposals for how committees and decision-making will operate in the months ahead. The public and media will be able to watch meetings via links on the committee pages of the council website.

The coronavirus lockdown resulted in more than 10 meeting cancellations. They include the Annual Council, scheduled for 12 May, at which the role of mayor was due to pass from Cllr Jill Anderson to her deputy Cllr Roger Roud. In light of the cancellation, it has been decided that both councillors will continue in their present roles for a further year.

Nicolas Heslop said: “While we are living through an extraordinary period in our history with huge disruption to everyday life, it’s vital that we do everything possible to maintain an open and democratic decision-making process. Now more than ever, the borough council has a leadership role to play and by holding meetings online we will be able to fulfil that role with the necessary scrutiny by our members, the press and public.”

Mayor Jill Anderson said: “I’m very pleased to continue in my role and look forward to meeting people again and joining community events once the situation allows. I would also like to thank the battalions of volunteers who are selflessly helping others and our council staff who are supporting this effort while continuing to deliver the services that have kept our borough functioning. Getting our programme of meetings back up and running is another important step in the recovery process.”