All Council meetings cancelled

24/03/2020, PR-9349

​Wakefield Council will be putting alternative arrangements in place for decision making to ensure that urgent Council business can continue and much needed support and investment across the district can still be delivered.

After the Prime Minister's announcement on new coronavirus restrictions, all Council meetings will be cancelled until further notice.

The new arrangements mean that the Leader or senior council officers will be making any urgent decisions until powers are passed down from Government to allow councillors to work remotely.

Wakefield Council's Acting Chief Executive, Andrew Balchin, said: "We will do everything we can to support the national effort to manage the spread of the coronavirus and fully support the new measures initiated by the Prime Minister. They will clearly impact on our approach to our committee meetings and governance arrangements but we will ensure that key Council business and decision making continues. We have extensive Leader and officer delegations in place for the majority of our functions to enable decision making to continue".

Meetings of Cabinet, Licensing Committee and Planning Committee scheduled in the next few weeks will be replaced by delegated decisions after consultation with Cabinet and Committee Members.

Longer term, alternative arrangements will be made to allow committees to meet virtually and as part of this Wakefield Council will identify the best way to share these meetings with the public to ensure it can continue its commitment to openness and transparency.

Andrew Balchin added: "We are awaiting emergency powers from Government to allow urgent business to be conducted by councillors remotely. We will do as much as possible to ensure councillors are fully engaged and the public able to participate as required so that the necessary democratic legitimacy for decisions is maintained. Where this cannot be achieved we will consider deferring meetings where possible."

The Cabinet meeting scheduled to be held today (24 March) in the Council Chambe

The Cabinet meeting scheduled to be held today (24 March) in the Council Chamber will be replaced by Leader decisions following a consultation discussion which will now take place via conference call. The Chief Legal Officer will oversee the call and ensure all necessary governance is in place. The outcome of the meeting will be communicated later in the day.

Wakefield city centre