Following changes in government legislation due to the Covid 19 pandemic parish councils are now able to hold virtual meetings. Bishopstoke Parish Council is using Zoom for its meetings. Residents of Bishopstoke are still welcome to attend the meetings and can do so either online or by phone. It is also possible to have a statement for one of the agenda items read on your behalf at a meeting.
The meetings are held via video whenever possible but there are occasions when, due to poor connection speeds Councillors and residents may be requested to switch to audio only. Confidential business will only take place as the last items on the agenda and, should there be any, all residents will be asked to leave the meeting before the confidential items are discussed.
JOINING THE MEETING
The link and the phone numbers Zoom provides for the meetings change from week to week. The agenda and supporting papers for each meeting will continue to be published on the main page of the website and can be downloaded from there. Anyone wishing to join the meeting should either email the Clerk or call 07387 683675 and the links and phone numbers for that week's meetings will be sent to them. If there is a specific item that a resident wishes to speak on then it would be helpful to know so that the Clerk can arrange things accordingly. There is a public session at the start of each meeting where questions can be asked of the Council or Committee but there is no guarantee that a given question can be answered there and then. It is more likely that an Council Officer will be asked to determine the answer to the question and then report back at the next meeting, and to the person asking the question.
Those attending the meeting are requested to remain on mute throughout the meeting unless they are called upon by the Chair to speak. Zoom allows participants to "raise a hand" which notifies the Clerk and the Chair that they wish to speak, and they will be called on in turn. This can be more difficult for those attending by phone and so the Chair will routinely ask if anyone on the phone has anything they wish to say, at which point anyone with a point to make should make themselves known. When called upon to speak, comments should be kept to a maximum of three minutes.
Behaviour that disrupts the meeting such as regularly interrupting other speakers will result in the person being warned and, if the behaviour does not change, in being removed from the meeting.