For bin collection money, it is possible that councils will need to meet at sports halls.


Zoom votes are now allowed under emergency legislation, but many council chambers lack the capacity to handle social distancing.

For bin collection money to be allocated, councils might need to meet in theatres, cinemas, or sports halls.

To pay for garbage removal and other public services, local authorities will be finalizing their annual budgets in this month and next.

Chief executives tell them that they need to be socially distant when they do, and that many council chambers don’t have enough space to accommodate all councillors.

The government passed emergency legislation to allow councils the opportunity to meet and vote on Zoom during the pandemic.

However, it ran out last year and the Tories are refusing to give Parliamentary time to renew it. This means that councillors cannot vote in person.

Peter Fleming, leader of Kent’s Sevenoaks District Council, said: “Councils are sovereign bodies and we should be able to decide for ourselves how we meet.

“This doesn’t say much about the independence of local authorities.”

The budget is set by councils, and each councillor is legally responsible for it.

Council tax bills will be increased for large venue hires to comply with law. And that’s only if they have somewhere big enough nearby.

They can’t meet their budgets so they either need to increase existing budgets or request that Communities Secretary Michael Gove set them.

Any major spending decisions will need to be delayed.

A spokesperson from the Local Government Association, which represents 350 councils, stated: “ Budget meetings can be the most important councils hold each year and are normally the most heavily attended.

“Holding these meetings wholly in person is unnecessary when councils have demonstrated over the pandemic that it is possible to meet in a remote or hybrid way.”

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