Like everyone, local authorities were initially a little slow in responding to the challenge of operating in a lockdown environment: committee meetings were postponed or cancelled while they worked out what to do. Few will disagree, however, that virtual meetings have been a success, as fans of Jackie Weaver will testify. Meetings have gone ahead as planned and public participation has been made easier, as you can watch from the comfort of your armchair rather than trekking into the town hall and sitting in a stuffy council chamber.
Yet with lockdown restrictions still to come to an end, the government has chosen not to renew the emergency legislation for England that made clear such virtual meetings were allowed. So far the government has ignored pleas from all quarters to do this, so some ingenious local authority lawyers are heading to the High Court to seek a ruling that holding council meetings online is allowed under the pre-existing legal framework. Let's hope either that they succeed or the government backtracks. Otherwise it's back to those stuffy chambers after 6 May.
Council lawyers prepare to lose virtual meetings despite court challenge