The meetings will be the first in six months
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported by the Meppeler Courant, the city council of Meppel in southern Drenthe will meet physically for the first time in six months. The council chamber is being specially prepared, with strong regulations to stop council members from putting eachother at risk of Coronavirus infection- this means that neither public nor press will be able to attend in person.
“We tried (as much as possible) to replicate the old situation, but we can’t make an exact copy because of the Coronavirus guidelines”, says Mayor Richard Korteland (VVD). “I’m happy that political debate can take place in the chamber again, that’s good for local democracy. The council finds digital debates to be reasonable, but it’s better for everyone if we can look eachother in the eyes during a debate”, he added.
The council chamber has place for about 30 people, and has had its entrances changed around, whilst the seats now lie in two ‘U’ shapes. The 23 members of the council will have to make use of an ‘interruption-microphone’, and must stay in their own seats. Wethouders can only enter the chamber is something is to be debated that’s in their own portfolio.
The public will not be allowed in to the chamber to observe events, but will be allowed to contribute to the debate. Those who would like to contribute must wait in the lobby before being escorted to the chamber by a council member of staff- a livestream will be shown in the lobby so that people can follow along. Press too will have to wait in the lobby.