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Regular council business could resume in Aberdeen after school holidays

Aberdeen City Council and Town House buildings
Aberdeen City Council and Town House buildings

Council business in Aberdeen could return to a more regular schedule after the school summer holidays, increasing the number of elected members involved in decision-making.

The leaders of the five political groups on the council voted to move discussions on all pressing issues to special “urgent business committees” as the pandemic developed in March.

But the reduced committee’s role has faced some criticism as other councils have adapted more quickly to using video conferencing to conduct regular business.

Since March in Aberdeen, all urgent business meetings, and those of other limited committees still convening, have been conducted using the technology.

The public and press have been unable to view proceedings in real time, with recordings shared on the internet after.

Now, council officers are recommending regular committees reconvene from August 12, the day after schools are expected to return.

A first full council meeting is provisionally pencilled in for August 24.

If council officers’ plans are approved, live-streaming of meetings could also be brought in from the end of August.

In-person meetings at the Town House are not anticipated to take place until the country moves from phase two of lockdown easing to phase three.

Even then, it is expected the number of members attending could be limited to a maximum of 15 out of 44 due to “logistical challenges”.

Others would be able to dial in using video conferencing software, if the group leaders vote to allow it on Tuesday.

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