Northamptonshire County
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Empowering Parish and Town Councils

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Parish Council Deploys Virtual Reality Headsets for Self-isolating Councillors

Parish Council Deploys Virtual Reality Headsets for Self-isolating Councillors

A parish council in South Northamptonshire has beaten restrictions on local authority meetings due to Coronavirus by using high tech methods of engagement.

Tawldale Parish Council near Towcester has issued virtual reality (VR) headsets to four of its councillors who are currently self-isolating and unable to attend council meetings. VR enables them to attend council meetings, even though they are not physically present.

The Chairman of the parish council, Cllr Richard Ushaw, who is also Chief Executive of Northampton-based Light, Media and Optics Ltd (LMAO) which developed the headsets says "We didn't want to leave anyone out, just because they couldn't physically attend the meeting. This enabled them to take a full part, just as though they were in the room".

Cllr Evan Elpas, one of the self-isolating councillors, said "It was just like being there, even though I never left me lounge. I swear I could smell the village hall; that mix of floor polish, crayons and old curtains".

The council is considering extending the use of technology throughout its business. "One day we'll just be brains in jars" quipped the chairman, but quickly added "although admittedly that would make the annual litter pick more of a challenge".

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Posted: Wed, 01 Apr 2020 08:50 by Danny Moody

Tags: Miscellaneous