Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic the Ordinary Meeting of Charfield Parish Council scheduled for 14th April will NOT now take place.
There is law which states the Parish Council must host an annual meeting of the parish (APM) between 1st March and 1st June and we accept this is not reasonable in the circumstance and currently we plan NOT to host the APM during this period.
The National Association of Local Councils has said:
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 local 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 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, local 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.
In the meantime, for information on Covid-19 and the impact in our area, please check out https://beta.southglos.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/health-services/covid19/