Councillors and the public will be able to return to Hendon Town Hall next month for “Covid-secure” meetings.

Barnet Council confirmed committees will meet at the usual venue in The Burroughs, Hendon, from May 7.

The exception will be the annual council meeting on May 25, which is expected to be held at a different venue.

There will be a limit on the number of members of the public allowed to attend meetings, with an audio livestream available for those who cannot be admitted or who do not want to attend in person.

Councils have been holding virtual meetings that are livestreamed via the internet since April last year, following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But minister of state for regional growth and local government Luke Hall wrote to local authorities last month telling them the Government would not extend emergency legislation allowing meetings to be held virtually.

Explaining the decision, Mr Hall cited the “impact it would have on the Government’s legislative programme” and the “excellent progress that has been made on our vaccination programme and the announcement of the Government’s roadmap for lifting Covid-19 restrictions”.

The minister said councils were being given the support and guidance to hold face-to-face meetings in a safe and secure way.

A Barnet Council spokesperson confirmed safety measures will be put in place to ensure that committees “are delivered in a Covid-secure way”.

The spokesperson said: “The public will be able to attend meetings in person to ensure that the council meets it’s legal duty relating to public access, but there will be a capacity limit for the public.

“For those members of the public who cannot be admitted due to capacity restrictions, or who do not wish to attend in person, there will be a live audio live stream of the meeting available via the council’s website:

“We are likely to have slightly different arrangements in place for planning committee meetings so that the public can be admitted for specific applications.”