It has led to calls for the council to start holding physical meetings.
Plaid Cymru councillor and planning committee member James Fussell acknowledged the limitations Microsoft Teams had, but also said councillors had a role to play in making the tech work.
He said: “[The council] are trying to do their best and have been thrust into new ways of working – as have other organisations.
“This isn’t new technology and members have to take a role of responsibility in terms of their competence in using Microsoft Teams.
“There is not a lot to go wrong, but it needs people to understand that this is a ‘public gallery’.”
Cllr Adrian Hussey, the Labour member for Newbridge, can be heard saying the F-word during the meeting as Plaid Cymru councillor Mike Davies struggled with his microphone.
He was also seen finishing his breakfast by drinking milk from his cereal bowl.
When contacted by Caerphilly Observer, Cllr Hussey said: “Firstly I would like to say I’m deeply ashamed of the way I acted at the planning meeting – frustration got the better of me.
“I have apologised to the monitoring officer and Cllr Davies and fully intend to apologise to the members at the next planning meeting.
“This is a new way of holding meetings and we are all on a learning curve and it can be frustrating.”
On the issue of eating breakfast, Cllr Hussey said he was running late for the meeting after having connection issues and added: “This is not the way I normally conduct myself at this or any other meeting.”
Independent councillor Nigel Dix, who does not sit on the planning committee, said the system of remote meetings was “not fit for purpose” and urged council bosses to bring back physical meetings – albeit socially distanced.
He said: “The council have tried their best to get it up and running but it has proved diffcult and clunky and it is not a great way to make democratic decisions.
“There are 20 members on the planning committee and we have got a chamber that can sit 72 councillors. You can hold these meetings and protect everybody with social distancing.”
Cllr Fussell said holding physical meetings in the chamber at Ty Penallta could be a solution, but that some councillors would not be able to attend as some would be shielding.
Labour’s chair of the planning committee, Mike Adams, said there were lessons to be learned and admitted there had been issues with councillors’ “etiquette”, but the meeting overall was a success.
The meeting did end in some confusion however. Cllr Adams declared an interest ahead of a discussion over the 125 homes in Pontllanfraith – as he lives nearby.
He was not in attendance during the decision, but when he returned he asked what the outcome was.
Fellow Labour councillor John Bevan objected and Robert Tranter, the council’s head of legal services, advised Cllr Adams to end the meeting.
Cllr Adams told Caerphilly Observer that he was waiting for an answer as to why he was not allowed to ask the question given the decision had already been made.
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