Shropshire Star

Microsoft Teams to be ditched by Powys council over continuing translation issues.

Powys County Council is ditching Microsoft Teams technology for its remote online meetings because of continuing issues with Welsh language translation.

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Microsoft Teams

Future remote attendance meetings will instead take place on Zoom.

Since remote attendance meetings started in March, the county council has been using Microsoft Teams.

Members of the democratic services committee were told at a meeting on Monday, October 19 , that continuing issues with Welsh language translation will see the change of software take place over the next few weeks.

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Head of democratic services and scrutiny manager Wyn Richards said discussions have been ongoing between the Welsh Government and Microsoft but there are no timelines or guarantees as to when translating will be available.

Mr Richards said they have been given authority to move to Zoom and that Zoom Licences have now been bought by the council.

Councillors will receive “intense” training sessions on the facilities within the app which includes voting and the hands up for anyone who wants to speak in a meeting.

Mr Richards said “My aim would be to roll it out and start using it in some of our smaller committees before we get to full council at the end of November so that we have some experience of it.”

Committee chairman, Councillor Elwyn Vaughan said: “I understand other local authorities, Ceredigion and Gwynedd are already using Zoom – we can always learn lessons from them.”

Back in May, several local authorities backed a campaign to ask Microsoft to have a live translation facility added into Teams, which would allow meeting to take place bilingually.

Just under 2,800 people signed the petition asking Microsoft Teams to put this in place.