New coronavirus Cabinet roles detailed in first virtual meeting

The new roles of our Cabinet Members, focussing on the most important issues in the fight against coronavirus, have been detailed at our first ever virtual public meeting.

What happened?

On Friday 1 May Cabinet officially met online for the first time in Kirklees Council’s history.

Members dialled in to a video conference call which the public were also able to watch online. This will be how all Cabinet meetings are held in Kirklees until it is safe for members to return to meeting in person.

What was discussed?

Cabinet Members met to note the specific details of their new priorities which focus on the issues that matter most in protecting lives, businesses and communities across the borough during the coronavirus pandemic. You can read more about the new roles here.

Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said: “The challenges we face are like nothing this council and all others have faced before.

“Even in this difficult period we’re in, democracy has to run through everything we do and I’m delighted that we have been able to meet as a Cabinet again and return to making democratic decisions in a public way and asked officers to ensure the meetings use and embrace the widest forms of technology to enable us to become a beacon council in running virtual meetings.

“Our meeting might be virtual but our commitment to representing the people of Kirklees is just as real as it was before this crisis and want to do it in the best way we can. Today’s meeting was about more than just the technology. It restores and renews democratic decision making in Kirklees.

“As circumstances for residents change so dramatically, so must our leadership of it. That’s why I decided to make changes to our portfolios.

“We need to focus on the extreme challenges coronavirus is bringing and tackle them together. This new Cabinet structure focuses on the things that really matter right now. Saving lives and livelihoods and protecting vulnerable people and communities.

“These new Cabinet priorities will give us a devoted team to lead us through the coronavirus pandemic and will drive our long-term strategy to rebuild when the time comes.”

How have decisions been made whilst Cabinet has been unable to meet?

Whilst public meetings have not been possible, the Chief Executive has been taking emergency decisions in consultation with the Council Leader, as recommended by Government.

All leaders of the other political groups have been advised on an ongoing basis of the decisions that have been taken.

At 1 May’s virtual Cabinet meeting, decisions taken during this period were also noted. You can see a log of these emergency decisions made here.


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