We start 2021 with meetings continuing to be held virtually which may yet continue for sometime. If you would like to attend our forthcoming meeting please contact the Clerk (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a link to join us – you are very welcome to attend.
Our colleagues at NALC have issued the following advice to councils with which SLCC completely agrees. “NALC strongly encourages councillors and staff to follow government guidance on social distancing and self-isolation. This is particularly important if anyone is in an at risk group as identified by the guidance. We would encourage councils to consider if they need to hold scheduled meetings at all. The health and safety of councillors, staff and the public should be your primary concern. If local councils do follow government guidance on social distancing and social isolation and so they do not hold scheduled meetings, including annual council meetings, NALC’s opinion is that the likelihood of a successful legal challenge is low. We are expecting government guidance on holding meetings remotely early next week, and NALC will also produce further guidance if appropriate next week. In the meantime, if local councils decide to not hold meetings and take decisions by email or other remote methods NALC feels it’s likely that afterwards if there were a challenge that the courts will accept that exceptional times called for exceptional measures. In the absence of government guidance we would suggest for now only taking decisions remotely for truly urgent issues. In this case councils should evidence their decision making as best they can, for example by asking councillors to confirm their votes by email to the Clerk for the Clerk to keep as a record of the decision.”