SSDC meeting is to go ahead

Both Mendip and Sedgemoor have cancelled all council meetings. However South Somerset District Council are going ahead with theirs. The council meeting is at 7.30pm tonight at their Brympton Way headquarters.

Among the items on the agenda will be how to make changes to their constitution which will allow for the delegation of decision making. This should only be for the duration of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The meeting will be open to the public and press.

However, given the Government’s strong advice on social distancing and the advice to those who may be vulnerable or have underlying health conditions, we will be broadcasting the council meeting on Youtube to allow those who wish to see proceedings but not attend to do so online.

Anyone who wishes to attend is asked to wash their hands in the facilities we provide and to please keep their distance from others.

Council Leader Val Keitch said: “Public safety, the safety of our officers and the safety of our elected members is our priority.”

Obviously there is a balance to be struck.  On the one hand, public safety and minimising the spread of a contagious virus. On the other open government.

It is not for us to say who is right and who is wrong. We should stress that you might conclude SSDC are doing the right thing and the others are being over timid.

But the key fact here is that every council in Somerset has taken a different decision or at least a decision on a different day. Yesterday Somerset West & Taunton also went ahead with their executive meeting.

In a time of uncertainty, it is a pity that our councils are not able to show consistency in their approach. This is a shame, we need leadership from our public authorities.

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