All local authorities in England and Wales are governed by the Local Government Act 1972 which states that meetings have to be held in a place … with Cllrs present. However, following the Government’s guidelines of meetings of no more than two and social isolating a decision was taken to cancel the March meeting; this was swiftly reinforced by the Coronavirus Act and the 2020 Health Protection Regulations (or lockdown). The Parish Council’s core business of planning and finance over the past few weeks has been undertaken via email communication.
As this situation is likely to continue for some weeks the Government has been under pressure from NALC and the SLCC to provide Councils with the option to hold ‘virtual’ meetings. This was granted under the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 which came into effect on 4 April 2020. This means that meetings can now be held using a conference call; open to the public, duly advertised on our website, with an associated agenda. Currently, business outside our core responsibilities is limited and the Parish Council does not feel the need to hold such meetings and would encourage parishioners to comment on planning issues directly on SMDC’s online portal –http://publicaccess.staffsmoorlands.gov.uk/portal/servlets/WeeklyListServlet
Should this situation change, due notification will be given on our website together with the application we will be using and how to log on.
The Annual Parish Meeting scheduled for May 2020 will now not take place, as per the new Regulations. All Councillors will retain their current posts / responsibilities until the Annual Meeting in May 2021.
All core business discussed will be detailed in draft minutes, which will be posted on our website on a monthly basis and ratified once the Parish Council meets in person again.
Any queries or concerns should be directed to The Clerk, details on the contact page of the website. Every effort will be made to resolve issues as they occur given the resources available to us at any given time.