Town Council update 31st March 2020
It has been a week since the UK Government enforced social distancing measures which has disrupted not only the operation of the Town Council but individual activities as well.
The administrative aspects of the Town Council are being managed through staff working from home. In addition, the Town Council’s Facility Officer is accessing the office to check on mail and messages.
The Town Council staff are also continuing to support the work of the Llangollen Coronavirus Help Group with practical assistance such as assisting with printing and well as some administrative support work. Additionally, the Town Clerk is actively seeking funds and other means of support the group’s efforts in support people self-isolating and the vulnerable.
There have also been several developments over the last week regarding the governance of Community Councils in Wales. The Welsh Government are currently working on the development of the secondary legislation, so it will not be too long before the regulations and accompanying guidance will be published. In the interim advice published by the National Association of Local Councils, is as follows: -
If local councils decide to not hold meetings and take decisions by e-mail or other remote methods NALC feels it is 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, they 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 e-mail to the Clerk to keep as a record of the decision.
In line with UK Government directives, all Town Council and Committee meetings are suspended indefinitely. However there is provision in the Town Councils Standing Orders and Financial Regulations that allows for the delegation of certain activities to the Town Clerk , and in addition, at the meeting of the Asset Management Committee held on the 17th March 2020, it was resolved to provide additional delegated authority to the Town Clerk in consultation with the Town Mayor and Deputy Town Mayor to make payments on all aspect of the Town Council’s operations, as defined in the Committees terms of reference.
Therefore, Town Council activity over the next few months will limit be limited to specific operational aspects of the Town Council to routine matters associated with governance such as the authorisation of payments, implementation of contractual obligations and the circulation of information on planning consultations, if received, by email communication with Members.
The Town Council can still be contacted by telephone on 01978 861345 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org