'Publish the legal advice,' calls for transparency as Council meetings suspended

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Darren Hassett

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Darren Hassett

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news@carlowlive.ie

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Carlow's Cllr Adrienne Wallace has slammed the local authority's decision to halt all Council meetings and not move them online.

This follows a statement from Carlow County Council this week which stated that it is "not possible to hold Council meetings through Microsoft Teams or Zoom".

In the statement, the Council said that legal advice obtained by other local authorities is of the view that it is not possible to move meetings online.

Cllr Adrienne Wallace has called for transparency and wants this advice to be published.

She said: "This is a ludicrous move. We are in the middle of a pandemic, there is a public health crisis and a select few members of the corporate policy group and the unelected officials of Carlow County Council have taken it upon themselves to suspend democracy.

"I am calling for the legal advice they received regarding online meetings to be published.

"The people are entitled to know what is going on."

Cllr Wallace added: "The Government should be working to pass emergency legislation to ensure Councils can move online, but they won't do that if local councillors don't raise their voices and make the call.

"Locally there has been good work done to co-ordinate the community support forum and to provide essential services.

"If Council workers are going in to do their jobs so should councillors. Other Councils have organised briefings or held meetings with social distancing in place.

"I am calling on Carlow County Council to do the same to allow elected reps to do their job and fight for their communities."