Full Council cancelled in response to the coronavirus outbreak
We have cancelled all public meetings for the next month except those which are business critical.
Why has this been done?
In light of the coronavirus pandemic, and the health and safety issues relating to it, the decision has been made by the council to allow officers and councillors to focus on supporting local people to deal with the emerging spread of the virus.
The news also comes after the most recent Government advice on 16 March.
What will be affected?
This means Full Council, which was due to take place at Huddersfield Town Hall from 5.30pm on 18 March 2020, will not go ahead.
However, Cabinet, Planning Committee and Licensing Committee meetings – will still go ahead as they require decisions to be made which cannot reasonably be delayed – making them business critical. Measures will be in place to ensure social distancing at these meetings.
Jacqui Gedman, Chief Executive of Kirklees Council, said: “We are absolutely committed as an organisation to promote and protect democracy, so this was not a decision we have taken lightly.
“Whilst coronavirus continues to spread, as a local authority we have a duty to keep residents as safe as possible and this has to be our priority at the moment.
“Full Council meetings also take a lot of organisation and resource and the right thing to do is focus this energy in doing what we can to help residents remain safe and informed.
“We are continuing to work closely with Public Health England to minimise the risk of coronavirus to the public in Kirklees. The very best measure we can all still take is to ensure we all wash our hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time.
lease rely only on official information for updates, help and advice. The best way to stay informed is to regularly check official guidance from organisations such as Public Health England and the Government.”
To help make joined-up decisions to contain the spread of coronavirus and share information with people, Kirklees Council has now established a command team. This pulls together services from across the council and other partners – such as West Yorkshire Police, NHS and Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing as well as others.
Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said: “The situation with coronavirus is changing daily and the very best thing we can do as an authority is to make decisions that best protect local people. Public health and wellbeing of all our residents is my top priority
“Nothing is more important than public safety and I’m proud that all political leaders at Kirklees Council have been able to put politics aside and support the council’s decision.
“This will also help ward councillors to focus on helping residents in their communities. In times like this we all have to pull together and look out for those who need our help the most.”
Councillor David Hall, Leader of the Conservative Group at Kirklees Council, said: “Democracy is fundamental to what we do but in times like these we have to prioritise the health and safety of those in our communities.”
Councillor John Lawson, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Kirklees Council, said: “Our public meetings are crucial to the running of Kirklees but now is the time to pull together and do everything we can to support local people.”
Councillor Andrew Cooper, Green Party Group Leader at Kirklees Council said: “As local councillors our focus now has to be working in communities helping them at this time of crisis.”
Councillor Charles Greaves, Leader of the Independent Group on Kirklees Council, said: “It’s right that we should do everything we can to free up council resources to help and as councillors work with our communities in this testing time.”
Latest coronavirus information
You can also phone NHS 111 for advice.