Capita’s support has enabled Lambeth Council to deliver the UK’s first mayoral swearing-in ceremony digitally, for new Mayor of Lambeth, Philip Normal, as part of the Council’s first digitally held AGM.

Following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Capita was commissioned by Lambeth Council, the South London authority, to enable the local authority to deliver key public meetings digitally, to ensure that the Council could continue to discharge its democratic functions and offer public accountability to the borough’s citizens safely and securely. Capita’s team assessed the software options available to the Council for this task and selected Microsoft Teams (Teams) as the most suitable platform.

Once Teams was chosen, Capita’s role has been to test the system to ensure it functions suitably for public meetings, help administrate and support the meetings when they occur, ensure that all meeting attendees have the right technology to use the software and provide training to ensure all participants felt comfortable and confident using Teams for this new way of working.

The AGM and accompanying swearing-in ceremony were the first time the new system was deployed, and Capita had helped support a digital meeting on behalf of Lambeth Council. The local authority will continue to use Teams for public meetings while the Covid-19 pandemic continues; this will include upcoming planning meetings where members of the public will also be able to participate.

The company will continue to support the Council to run these meetings for as long as is necessary or until more staff from Lambeth’s Democratic Services Team return to work from their Covid-19 secondments. Capita is developing a training programme to ensure that when these staff return to their normal roles, they will be able to run and produce the Teams meetings. Capita has a longstanding relationship with Lambeth Council, supporting the local authority on a range of different administrative programmes.

Simon Freeman, Managing Director, Capita Local Public Services, said: “This is an unprecedented time for local authorities; along with working tirelessly to protect and support their citizens during the Covid-19 pandemic, councils are also exploring new ways to ensure they remain accountable to them. I am proud of the support our team has provided Lambeth Council to run these key public meetings digitally, including the UK’s first digital mayoral swearing-in ceremony."

“Our solution means that Lambeth Council’s public meetings can continue in a safe and secure way, despite Covid-19, and their citizens can also continue to engage with their local councillors. This solution is also repeatable and could be used by other local authorities over the course of the pandemic and potentially beyond.” Simon Freeman, Managing Director at Capita Local Public Services

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