Fingal councillors had their first full meeting since lockdown with the help of modern technology, last week, meeting remotely to discuss the priorities for the county amid the COVID-19 crisis.
A virtual governance and oversight meeting of Fingal councillors was held last week with discussions on the priority areas of finance, the impact of COVID-19 on business, housing supply and restarting the Fingal economy.
A return to physical meetings in June, which would be planned in accordance with the Return to Work Safely Protocol and other health and safety guidelines, was also considered by councillors.
The Corporate Policy Group, which consists of the Mayor and the Chairs of the six Strategic Policy Committees, continue to meet weekly online whilst the Crisis Management Team of the Council has now moved to meeting three times per week.
The council's IT and Corporate Services Departments worked with the Corporate Policy Group and the chairs of the Area Committees to deliver a solution using the Microsoft Teams platform which allowed councillors to receive presentations and then ask questions and receive answers.
The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Eoghan O'Brien, who chaired the meeting from his usual seat in the Council Chamber at County Hall, Swords, said the online gathering was a success.
He said: 'The presentations we received were excellent and highlighted that work has continued in all priority areas during the Crisis. There was excellent engagement from councillors and the feeling afterwards was that it was a very informative meeting and the online format worked well.'
The chief executive of Fingal County Council, AnnMarie Farrelly, said this new way of working ensures the important interaction between councillors and the Executive continues and she also welcomed the contributions of councillors on restarting the Fingal Economy and on the Housing Programme.
She said: 'The importance of our public spaces to quality of life in Fingal was also discussed at the meeting and plans to return to a full maintenance programme in accordance with Public Health Guidance was an important issue for councillors.'
The council, along with the Corporate Policy Group, is currently considering how physical meetings, for statutory business, could take place in June. Suitable venues are being identified having regard to physical distancing requirements and all public health guidelines.