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My Parish Council has chosen to hold a face to face meeting on 12th April in the village hall. Parishioners have been sent an email saying that it is probably not legal for them to attend due to covid restrictions. Instead, the council will attempt to live-stream the meeting to You-Tube, but they say there may be technical issues..

I expressed a wish to attend the face to face meeting in person, but this has been refused. My question is: Can I legally be barred from actual attendance in person given that this is a face to face meeting at the Village Hall?

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    Which country / state is this about? Please add the appropriate locality tag(s). – JJJ Apr 12 at 9:11
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    Sounds more like a legal than a political question (despite being about a political event, you are asking whether something is legal). Answers will depend a lot on where exactly you are, and what kind of emergency legislation is currently in force at this place. – Hulk Apr 12 at 9:30
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    A meeting of the parish council is distinct from a parish meeting. Is this a meeting of the council, or a meeting of the parish? It sounds like the former, in which case you don't have automatic right to attend. askyourcouncil.uk/understanding-your-council/… – James K Apr 12 at 10:17
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    Assuming that you're in the UK, have you checked that you have the authority ... ;-) – Steve Melnikoff Apr 12 at 13:33
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    @jamesqf - Given that parish councils are a thing in British local government and often meet at town halls, and the use of a D M date format, I concluded that the question related specifically to the UK and answered as such. – GeoffAtkins Apr 13 at 5:41
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(This is based on the reasonable assumption that the question relates to Parish Council meetings in England and Wales).

Yes, you can be legally prevented from attending a parish council meeting in person if that would violate Covid-19 restrictions.

Emergency powers in both the Coronavirus Act 2020 and the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 supersede any regulations which would otherwise grant you permission to attend.

Whether national or local restrictions actually do mean that you can't attend a parish council meeting in person is another matter, and it may be the council erring on the side of caution.

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