Cotgrave Town Council Virtual Meeting 24th March 2020
Councillors Responses :
Councillors S Gardner (Chairman), R Butler, M Chewings, L Healy, S Ellis, C Jeffreys, I Shaw, A Simpson, D Stothard
Councillors H Brumpton, D Eldrigde, K Chewings, B Handbury, N Monday, C Patterson, D Wilkie
In Virtual Attendance :
The Clerk and the Administration Manager (Cotgrave Town Council)
The meeting was conducted over the internet and via phone calls.
Declarations of Interest
0664 No declarations of interest were received.
Public Open Session
No members of the public were able to attend or be informed due to speed at which the lock down was imposed.
This meeting had been planned to take place at Cotgrave Futures at 7pm and had to be cancelled due to Government instruction given on the previous day for everyone not to meet and stay at home.
The council office had also been closed within three hours’ notice on Friday 20th March, after the Government announcement given that all leisure centres had to close by Midnight on that day. The Clerk & Administration Manager had to go and collect as much from the office to allow the work to continue from home from the following Monday.
The Council still needed to allow for the work to be continued from the homes of the administration staff and to delegate the power to the Clerk to allow the council to continue to function.
Minutes of the Pervious Town Council Meeting of 12th March 2020
These were not presented due to the unprecedented lock down which has taken place and not having access to all files from the council server. All access into the council office is currently suspended for the unforeseeable future.
Delegation of Powers to The Clerk re: Coronavirus Pandemic 2020
Following the ‘lock down’ imposed upon all residents of the United Kingdom, it was suggested following a discussion between the Chairman and the Clerk that all Cotgrave Town Council planned meetings are cancelled until further notice or on advice given by central government. This is in line with Nottinghamshire County and Rushcliffe Borough Councils.
The emailed information sent to all councillors on the email system and discussed via phone for those who do not have access to the internet asked for Council to pass a temporary resolution to allow the Clerk to have delegated powers to allow continue of the service provided by the council.
‘In response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK and in the event that it is not possible to convene a meeting of the council in a reasonable time, the Clerk shall have delegated authority to make decisions on behalf of the council where such decisions cannot be reasonably deferred and must be made in order to comply with a commercial or statutory deadline. This will be carried out by members of Cotgrave Town Council by electronic means or telephone. The Clerk will further consult with the Chairman for guidance as necessary. The delegation does not extend to matters expressly reserved to the council in legislation or in its Standing Orders or Financial Regulations. Any decisions made under this delegation must be recorded in writing and must be published in accordance with the relevant regulations. The delegated authority ceases upon the first physical meeting of the council after the council meeting at which the delegation was put in place.’’Councillor responses were noted from a confirmation email received from Cllrs Gardner, Stothard, Simpson, Ellis, Healy, Shaw and Butler and via telephone conversations will Cllrs Jeffreys and M Chewings
Resolved : ‘Council resolved via the responses given by the above councillors’
Deferral or Cancellation of Future Council Meetings
Following a discussion and new instructions from central government, it is necessary to defer the Annual General and Parish Meeting for Cotgrave Town Council until the current guidelines are changed and meetings can be held within a building. Current legislation does not allow for these meetings to be conducted via any electronic or telephone discussion.
Resolved : “To defer the Annual General & Parish Meetings of Cotgrave Town Council until further notice”
Resolved : ‘To conduct the planned council meeting for 13th May by electronic means if new legislation allows for this.
Staff – Effects on staff working hours & conditions
Office Administration Staff
The administration staff are now working from home after the closure of the leisure centre which houses the office. The staff may be given very limited access to the office until the re-opening of the leisure centre to access any files, most of the council’s information is stored on a secure server and not accessible.
The Ground Staff
The ground staff are still able to complete the majority of their tasks, due to the nature of their work which allows them to social distance and they can work for the main part of their roles independently.
Len Knight has commented that he has received an email from the NHS stating that he should self-isolate for 12 weeks, as he maybe in an at risk group for the current time. I have requested that he receives a follow up email to confirm this I need to be made aware. He is currently not working and this will be followed up next week.
Some of their duties has been suspended for the current time and this is to be reviewed when further updates are given from central government stating what jobs can be maintained and completed.
All park keepers have been told that they are not to work, as all parks containing play park equipment and outdoors gym have been told to close until further notice.
The parks with equipment have all been locked and notices placed on the gates put in place stating why they are closed. The leisure centre field which is being used as a dog walking facility will be left open until the current situation changes. This will allow residents access to walk their dogs during at any time. The leisure centre manager has been informed.
All staff will continue to be paid and Council cannot furlough any staff because of the wages being provided by the precept.
COVID-19 Response Group- Grant Request
Cotgrave Town Council with the Rushcliffe Community Voluntary Service, Belvoir Health Group, Trent Bridge Community Trust, Super Kitchen, Grannies Tea Room, Rushcliffe & Nottinghamshire councils to form a volunteer group to support local residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The volunteers will have many roles including collecting and delivery of prescriptions and shopping and phone buddy system to help with the current isolation period for many residents.
The group will be organised by the Rushcliffe Community Voluntary Service who have a database in place and can easily add to this, this also stays within the current GDPR legislation.
A grant is requested to make sure that anyone you needs to use the service is not discriminated against if they cannot afford to pay or have restricted access to their money due to the current circumstances. A grant would allow for shopping to be completed by the volunteers and the money returned to their accounts if cash payment cannot be made.
A grant of £1000 is requested to help with the start-up of this response group.
If all money is not used, this can be returned to Cotgrave Town Council if required and RCVS will delegate the funding.
Resolved : ‘To give a grant of £1000 to support with COVID-19’
Cotgrave Town Council – Councillor Contact
All councillors have been given another copy of their signing in instructions for the council email system and it is important that all councillors need to check their emails regularly.
The Clerk will find out further information regarding ‘Zoom’, which is an electronic way of conducting a council meeting with a dial up facility for the foreseeable future.
Chairman…………………………………… Signed as a True Record (Date)………………………………