Harborough council set to become one of the first local authorities in the country to provide a sign language feed at virtual meetings

The council is also pledging to investigate other ways of how to help people tune in, understand and listen as well as watch its remote full council and committee meetings amid the Covid-19 pandemic

Friday, 20th November 2020, 4:57 pm
Updated Friday, 20th November 2020, 5:01 pm
Harborough District Council's headquarters.

Harborough council is set to become one of the first local authorities in the country to provide a sign language feed at virtual meetings for the hard of hearing.

The council is also pledging to investigate other ways of how to help people tune in, understand and listen as well as watch its remote full council and committee meetings amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The move was decisively passed after being put forward by Cllr Phil Knowles, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, at last night’s (Monday) full council meeting.

“We have an opportunity here to be groundbreaking.

“By doing this we can underline our inclusiveness to all members of our community,” said Cllr Knowles.

He was backed by Cllr Peter James and Cllr Amanda Nunn as well as council leader Cllr Phil King.

“I have absolutely no issue with supporting this motion.

“It’s very important that we enable all our residents to access information and participate in meetings,” said Cllr King.

“Salford City Council started doing this in September.

“But we might well be in the first wave nationally of doing this.”

Cllr James said using sign language was vital as many older people suffered deafness.

Councillors voted to ask officers to investigate providing a British Sign Language feed for all meetings as well as exploring other innovative ways of making meetings more accessible to everyone.