RYEDALE District Council (RDC)has held its first live-streamed meeting with over 100 people watching online.

The success of the online event means that the district council is now looking into hosting further live-streamed meetings to ensure visibility in democracy, especially in these unprecedented times.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, RDC meetings were not able to take place, but democratic meetings have been reinstated.

After a thorough rigorous process, which took into account current Government guidelines, health and safety risk assessments and the number of cases of COVID-19 in Ryedale, the decision was taken to hold a full Council meeting, in-person last Thursday.

Strict social distancing measures were in place, along with rigorous health and safety procedures with 27 of the 30 councillors attending.

The number of other attendees, including council officers, was limited in order to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission and to adhere to health and safety measures.

Since the live streaming of the meeting was so well-received byl ocal people, RDC is now looking to make more Council meetings accessible to the public online.

Cllr Keane Duncan, Leader of RDC said: “I could not be prouder of this council, and in particular the way our officers have gone above and beyond to stand by our residents during one of the toughest period in the district’s history. Despite everything, we’ve seen the very best of what our council can do.

“But it’s not just our officers worthy of thanks, I would like to congratulate councillors too for coming together, across the political divide, to join forces with hundreds of volunteers in all corners of our district. I hope this cooperation can continue in the uncertain months ahead, as we play our role in the ongoing Covid-19 recovery and face up to the prospect of big changes to local government in North Yorkshire. “

He added: “We’re delighted to see so many citizens watched the live stream of our full council meeting, which was the first since Covid-19 struck.

“It was much more than expected, and we’ll be looking at continuing live streaming meetings.

Cllr Keane added: “The meeting itself was also a great success, with councillors debating a range of issues on behalf of local people.

“All councillors felt it was important to show civic leadership at this unprecedented time, and that’s what we did safely and successfully thanks to a great effort from our officers.”