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Parish Council Status

Update 23 March 2020 @ 20.46pm

You are all aware of the rapidly-developing problems caused by the COVID-19 virus.

For this reason, the Chairman of the Parish Council, Christopher Dashper, following advice received from Suffolk Association of Local Councils and the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has decided to suspend all public meetings of the council for the time being to protect all residents.

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. The health and safety of councillors, staff and the public is the primary concern of the Parish Council. We have been advised that 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.

Government guidance on holding meetings remotely is expected early next week but in the meantime, the parish council has decided to not hold meetings and take decisions by email / remotely for urgent issues. In these cases, the council will evidence its decision making as best as it can, by asking councillors to confirm their votes by email to the clerk for the clerk to keep as a record of the decision.

The council’s work will of course continue and effective  Wednesday 24 March 2020 we will be making arrangements for the Clerk to be able to work from home. The Parish Council has already fulfilled its statutory obligations for meetings to the end of the council year (May). However, we are hoping to restart our public meetings as soon as it is possible and it is safe to do so.

To ensure that questions from the public are answered during this period, all enquiries should be made by email: info@thurstonparishcoucil.gov.uk or telephone: 07579 211938.