County councillors in Hertfordshire will continue to hold many of their meetings online.

Decision-making bodies of the county council – including the full council and the cabinet – have been meeting in-person, in line with government legislation, since May.

And some councillors had hoped from September, meetings of cabinet panels would be held in-person too.

But it has emerged cabinet panel meetings will continue to be held virtually.

A Hertfordshire County Council spokesperson said: "Cabinet panel meetings are continuing to be virtual

"As advisory rather than formal committees of the council, all cabinet panels are able to be held without in person attendance.

"Cabinet however has been in person in the council chamber since May."

Local authorities had previously been given temporary powers to hold all of its meetings online, as part of the coronavirus regulations.

But since those regulations ceased on May 6, the county council has held its full council meetings - but at the larger Gordon Craig Theatre, in Stevenage, rather than County Hall in Hertford.

Meanwhile the council is drawing up plans for the return of its admin staff to offices later in the year.

Throughout the pandemic, the council has continued to provide a range of vital services out in the community but the vast majority of office-based staff have been directed to work from home.

Now officials at the county council have signalled that plans are being put in place for staff to start returning to offices – as part of a mix of working in offices, in communities and remotely.

A county council spokesperson said: "In responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, the majority of our workforce who have been able to work from home have continued to do so, with offices being made Covid-secure for those requiring use of offices.

"Going forward, we are working towards a full reopening of our buildings in the autumn and we will continue to review the latest government advice and put in place appropriate measures for the wellbeing and safety of our colleagues.

"When offices do reopen, it is expected that many staff will use them differently to how they did before the pandemic, combining remote and community working with time at offices when needed."