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Council cancels meetings following positive Covid cases

Craven District Council has stopped all its face to face committee meetings for a month after two members of staff tested positive for Coronavirus.

Councillors from the Standards Committee are now having to self-isolate following a meeting last week where the staff were present.

Craven District Council's Chief Executive Paul Shevlin took the decision to cancel all meetings until the end of August. They won't be replaced by Zoom meetings - because of a High Court ruling that said virtual council meetings could not lawfully take place after 6th May 2021 and councils needed to revert to face-to-face meetings.

For any urgent decisions that need to be taken the council will be relying on the emergency authority delegated specifically to the Chief Executive in something called the 'Scheme of Delegation to Officers'. Before making any decision, the Chief Executive will consult with those members who would have sat on the Committee (or Council) had the meeting gone ahead.

Mr Shevlin said “Whilst the Covid rates are so high I am simply not prepared to put officers and Councillors at risk by holding face to face meetings.

"An alternative work around is available to me so for any urgent decisions we need to make during August I will be relying on the emergency authority delegated specifically to me in the Scheme of Delegation to Officers. We’ll follow a similar process to the one we put in place at the start of the pandemic before virtual meetings were introduced. I will consult with members who would have sat on the relevant committee or Council before making my decision.

"We’ll review again at the beginning of September and hopefully rates will have considerably dropped again by then and we can revert to face to face meetings.”

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