Last night 74 councillors (two apologies were received) attended the Annual Council meeting for BCP Council at the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC). This was thought to be the first full council meeting in the country to be held in person, since the High Court ruled on 28 April 2021 that council meetings should be attended in person, in line with the Local Government Act 1972, which does not make provision for local authorities to hold meetings virtually. Emergency legislation introduced at the start of the pandemic to allow local authorities to meet remotely, expired on 7 May 2021.
Graham Farrant Chief Executive of BCP Council said: “I was very pleased with the way in which the council was able to safely transition back to face-to-face meetings so quickly. The set up at the BIC was very impressive, with strict social distancing and COVID-safe measures in place. Our team did a brilliant job supporting the in-person meeting broadcasting it live, consistent with our commitment to be a modern, accountable and accessible council.”
Councillor Nigel Hedges has been elected as Chair of BCP Council, and Councillor Laurence Fear as Vice Chair for the coming year.
Councillor Nigel Hedges, Chair of BCP Council said: “I am delighted and honoured to have been elected as Chair, and I look forward to a busy and productive year as Chair of BCP Council.”
Council membership is now complete, following the Canford Heath Ward and Commons Ward by-elections last week.