GLASGOW City Council meetings are to be reinstated virtually to allow important decisions to take place as lockdown restrictions continue to ease.

While the local authority remains in an emergency situation, it continues to respond to the impact of Covid-19 which is expected to persist over the coming months.

The city council is now preparing for each of the recovery phases as set out in the Scottish Government’s route map.

This will include considering the impact on the budget, services and strategic priorities, and planning for what business as usual might look like in the new normal.

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At all times Glasgow City Council will be guided by government plans, advice and timelines, including those relating to physical distancing.

The issue was discussed at a virtual conference call yesterday morning.

Labour councillor Archie Graham said: “I welcome this report, clearly we are making steady progress while we remain in an emergency situation.

“There has been experience with people using the system and I think previous online meetings have gone reasonably well.”

Arrangements are currently underway to hold a meeting of the licensing and regulatory committee on Wednesday, August 19 via Microsoft Teams.

Applicant will be allowed to join these meetings to ensure that they can receive a fair hearing.

Glasgow Times: Glasgow City Council Leader Susan AitkenGlasgow City Council Leader Susan Aitken

It is proposed that all remaining committees are reinstated, with the dates and times of the first meeting of each, together with proposed work plans, being agreed amongst the convener, committee services and the relevant senior officer.

Meetings will be limited to no more than one hour and 30 minutes initially with the potential to expand the length if required.

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Councillor Bill Butler asked if meetings could be extended to two hours which had been agreed by business managers.

It was agreed this would be kept under review as some staff had asked for the meetings to be kept shorter.

Councillor Kim Long of the Green party said: “I think it is helpful to have a limit on time for a number of reasons. It is about getting a quality discussion and prevent members from getting off topic.”

It is hoped all meetings will be reinstated virtually by the end of the year.