Calendar of Meetings – Coronavirus Covid-19
The Town Council’s calendar of meetings has been removed from this website. Due to the current and emerging health emergency, all Town Council Meetings have been suspended until further notice.
At the EXTRAORDINARY MEETING OF THE TOWN COUNCIL held on 20 March 2020, the following Resolutions were passed:
1. The delegation of Council decisions to the Town Clerk, to act in the absence of Town Council, Committee and Sub-Committee Meetings, in conjunction with the Town Mayor, Deputy Town Mayor, General Purposes Coordinator and such other Town Councillors as may be necessary, in all matters except those specifically reserved by Statute for determination by the Town Council, during any period of restricted activity declared by the Government in respect of the Covid-19 virus; such delegation to enable the Council to fulfil its responsibilities to its residents.
2. That the Town Council agrees to conduct urgent items of business by email during any period of restricted activity declared by the Government.
Holding Council Meetings Remotely
On 4 April 2020, the government brought The Local Authorities (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority Meetings) (England) Regulations 2020 into force to allow local authorities to conduct meetings remotely. The regulations apply to meetings required to be held before 7 May 2021.
After consideration of the regulations, the requirements involved in implementing them and having regard to items 1 – 4 (below), the Town
Council will continue to operate under Delegated Authority (in accordance with Minute 272 of the Extraordinary Meeting of the Town Council held on
Friday 20 March 2020) until further notice.
- Ordinary Meetings
There is no urgent business for the council to conduct.
Furthermore, at the Extraordinary Meeting of the Town Council held on Friday 20 March 2020 it was RESOLVED: – that the Town Council agrees to conduct urgent items of business by email during any period of restricted activity declared by the Government (Minute 272 b) refers).
- Statutory Annual Council Meeting
Regulation 6(c) removes the requirement for a parish council to hold an Annual Meeting in May 2020 and Regulation 4 (2) carries the current appointment of chairman on until the Annual Meeting in May 2021 (although councils may elect a chairman at an earlier meeting should they wish to).
- Annual Town Meeting
Parish Councils in England are included within the definition of “local authority” in the 2020 Regulations (Reg. 3). Parish meetings are not included within the definition and, as such, there is nothing permitting them to meet remotely. In NALC’s (the National Association of Local Councils) view, the current government guidance means that parish meetings should not take place in person, including the Annual Meeting of the electors.
- Financial Year End and AGAR (Annual Governance and Accountability Review)
Regulations will extend the statutory audit deadlines for 2019/20.
- The publication date for final, audited, accounts for local councils will move from 30 September to 30 November 2020.
- To give local councils more flexibility, the requirement for the public inspection period to include the first 10 working days of July has been removed. Instead, local councils must commence the public inspection period on or before the first working day of September 2020 (this means that draft accounts must be approved by 31 August 2020).
The Town Council has implemented a robust delegation scheme:
- All Members are being consulted on planning applications prior to delegated decisions being taken.
- Neither the clerk, the mayor, deputy mayor nor any councillor may act independently without the proper delegation process being followed.
The Coronavirus Act, which the government introduced on 19 March 2020, postpones any elections that were due to be held in May 2020 until 6 May
2021. Any other electoral events, such as the council or parliamentary byelections, will also be postponed until May 2021.