In response to the Covid 19 pandemic the Business Continuity Committee had previously considered and approved a number of temporary departures from the Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils in light of the Covid-19 pandemic to facilitate Community Council’s in continuing to fulfil the important role of representing and supporting local communities during the pandemic. The Council gave consideration to a report providing an update on the temporary departures and proposing a further extension. The report also sought approval of a further temporary departure with regards to the timescales and arrangements for AGMs.
The Council –
1. Approved the following temporary departures from the Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils:
a) That where possible the 2021 AGMs take place on a remote basis or are otherwise held by 31st December 2021 with automatic approval for office bearers to retain positions held for 8 years or more without seeking approval from the Executive Director.
b) That the minimum number of meetings per annum continue to be set aside for 2021, on the understanding that regular patterns of meetings will recommence when current government restrictions on public gatherings are lifted.
c) That community councils able to meet remotely continue to do so with the expectation that they have put in place consultative measures to engage with their communities and that where unable to meet remotely, they continue to be in a position to reach consensus views by email until such time as the restrictions on public health are lifted. This is on the basis that such decisions or actions detail where community views cannot be obtained and that this is reflected in any responses submitted and that the Community Council Liaison Officer (CCLO) must be informed of any decisions made on this basis.
2. Agreed that that the maximum membership of co-optees revert back with immediate effect to the level of 1/3, as set out within the Scheme, in view of the by-elections having taken place in November 2020.
3. Noted that the National Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils is currently being reviewed to include provision for all community council meetings to take place remotely and any subsequent review of our Scheme will take account of any recommendations in this regard.
(Reference: Report by Executive Director with responsibility for Legal and Regulatory Support dated 15 January 2021, submitted)