Democracy goes online, with interactive council meetings and Facebook live leader Q&A

Main photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
23 Apr 2020 @ 6.11 pm
| Politics

York council meetings are to resume online – and residents can have their say.

City authorities are to bring in virtual democratic accountability during the lockdown. Leaders are also holding a Facebook live Q&A session.

Council leader Keith Aspden said: “With our response to the pandemic underway, it is crucial that the council facilitates virtual meetings to ensure residents, organisations and councillors across the city can engage with council business.”

Online democracy 1: Virtual meetings

Council staff have been working to enable and support new virtual meetings, and the first one will be the executive on 7 May.

Public meetings of both the planning and licensing committees are set to follow. 

Members of the public who want to speak at meetings will be encouraged to contact the council’s democratic services team, as usual, and register to speak.  Those who do will be sent details on how they can dial into the public meeting and contribute.

Residents will be able to watch the meetings live and on-demand as before – either via the council website or directly via its YouTube channel.

Online democracy 2: Facebook live

Residents are invited to watch and interact with a live #AskTheLeaders Coronavirus question and answer session on City of York Council’s Facebook page on Tuesday 28 April, 5-6pm.

Residents can join live on Facebook to hear from:

  • Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of the Council
  • Cllr Andy D’Agorne, Deputy Leader of the Council
  • Cllr Paula Widdowson, Executive Member for Climate Change and Environment
  • Ian Floyd, Interim Head of Paid Services
  • Sharon Stoltz, Director of Public Health

Residents can interact with the session by either submitting questions in advance by emailing them to YourQuestions@york.gov.uk or commenting on the live video on Facebook where leaders will read out questions and respond.

Resident do not need a Facebook account to watch the live video. However, they will need their own Facebook account to comment on the video with their questions if they have not already submitted questions via email.