Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Author: rooksdown

Joining a virtual parish council meeting using Microsoft Teams

You can join the meeting using a web browser (such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge) on a laptop computer, desktop computer or tablet. You can also join from a smartphone but the instructions are slightly different.

Joining from a web browser

Click on the link on the website (or in the email announcing the meeting).

If your browser does not support Teams (eg Firefox) you will be prompted to either:

  • Download the Windows app (Microsoft Teams), or
  • Join using the Microsoft Edge browser.

If your browser supports Teams (eg Chrome) your choice will be:

  • Download the Windows app (Microsoft Teams), or
  • Join on the web instead.

Make your choice.  Both should work equally well.

Teams will then probably ask for permission to use your microphone and camera: without allowing the use of your microphone you won’t be able to speak.

Click “Join Now”.

Joining on a smartphone

Click on the link on the website.

You will be prompted to download the Microsoft Teams app.

When it opens you should see the option to “Join as a guest” (councillors should sign in using their Office365 ID).

Click on it and Type your full name and “Join as a guest”.

Teams will then probably ask for permission to use your microphone and camera: without allowing the use of your microphone you won’t be able to speak.

When you’ve joined the meeting…

You will be told that somebody will let you in (councillors will be allowed in automatically).

You should be let in as soon as the meeting starts, and all other attendees will be aware you have joined.

Unless you’re a councillor, please leave your microphone muted unless asked to do otherwise.  Councillors should use their cameras. If you are a member of the public do not have to use your camera unless you wish to, but it may help you to be understood.

Remember that a parish council meeting is by law “a meeting held in public”, not a “public meeting”.  The law gives members of the public the right to attend and observe but not to speak, unless under the “10-minute rule” item near the beginning of the agenda, or when invited to speak by the chairman.


If you need help, have a look at the MS Teams help page.

Parish Council meetings suspended

In line with government advice, parish council meetings have been suspended. Our provisional plan is that they will take place by videoconferencing, but we have yet to work out the details.

COVID-19 News from BDBC 30 March

Latest news from Basingstoke Council

This is extracted from the daily-ish update to parish councils. We’ve been told by BDBC it’s for councillors only and we can’t post the whole thing here, but here’s an extract:

Support for vulnerable residents

[A] careline that has been set up [that] will be monitored during office hours. As a result, we are encouraging all residents who need support, or relatives worried about a family member, to get in touch via our email address – .

Parking restrictions suspended for NHS workers and volunteers


Residents urged to stay at home following fly-tipping at bring banks

Residents are being urged to stay at home to save lives following reports of fly-tipping at bring bank recycling sites. For more information on how to recycle more while at home visit

South Western Railway publishes a revised timetable from 23 March 2020

SWR will reduce the number of services it will be running from Monday 23 March, following the Government’s announcement urging people to avoid all but essential travel in order to help limit the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 virus.

The spread of the COVID-19 means like at most other organisations, more of our staff are having to follow advice to stay at home unwell and self-isolate for up to 14 days.

By reducing the number of trains running, we can focus on ensuring a reliable timetable for passengers who still have to travel, especially healthcare professionals, police and fire service workers.

We are asking all passengers to follow the Government’s advice to avoid all but essential travel.  But those passengers who do have to use our services should check before they travel.

Our colleagues on the front line are working very hard to ensure that those who need to travel get to where they need to be, when they need to be there, and the rest of the business is focusing on supporting them.  

For more information about what else we’re doing to help stop the spread of coronavirus, please visit:

Thank you in advance for your support during these very difficult times.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Hopwood
Managing Director
South Western Railway 

Coronavirus – supporting the vulnerable

Basingstoke council issued the following advice on 20 March:

Supporting the vulnerable and elderly in our communities

You may have had people in your areas asking you how to volunteer to help vulnerable and elderly people while they are following advice to self-isolate or reduce social contact.  The borough council is partnering with Basingstoke Voluntary Action (BVA) to co-ordinate support for vulnerable residents during the COVID-19 outbreak.

BVA is bringing together a community network to support community organisations and understand where additional support is required across the borough.  The partnership seeks to enhance the significant community work already taking place across the borough and provide a source of further information and guidance.

Working closely with BVA, the borough council will also support residents with the latest advice and help match suitable volunteers to community groups across the borough. This includes answering queries around offering your services as a volunteer, setting up your own group, operating effectively and how to support volunteers.

If you know of any groups that are setting up in your area please let them know to visit or call 01256 423852 to register and find contact details for accessing guidance and support.