March 18, 2020 9.14 am This story is over 19 months old

Further closures and cancelled meetings announced by local authorities

Drastic action in the face of coronavirus

More councils across the county are looking to postpone or cancel meetings in the face of coronavirus disruption to local democracy.

Lincoln and Boston councils both confirmed they had cancelled upcoming meetings yesterday (Tuesday).

Now, South Kesteven, East Lindsey, West Lindsey and North Kesteven District Councils will all be doing the same.

Lincolnshire County Council has also laid out a raft of measures it will be taking.

South Kesteven council leader councillor Kelham Cooke said the authority would examine emergency legislation, expected to be published by government, on how it can move forward with “key business decisions.”

Councillor Kelham Cooke, leader of South Kesteven District Council

He said: “None of these decisions have not been taken lightly.  They have a profound impact on people’s livelihood, our local economy, and our community way of life.

“We have a predominately older population and, as with all communities, we will have a number of people who are vulnerable.

“So the message is simple really. The health and wellbeing of our staff, our residents, our tenants, and, of course, our members, simply must come first.

The authority has also cancelled its Mid Lent Fairs in Stamford and Grantham and closed the Stamford Arts Centre, the Guildhall in Grantham, Bourne Corn Exchange and Wyndham Park Visitors Centre.

Further measures include cancelling bookings by external organisations as well as pausing improvement works to minimise disruption.

Some staff where possible, are home-working and an emergency planning team has been established in an incident room on St Peter’s Hill.

In East Lindsey District Council, all non-essential face-to-face internal and external meetings have been cancelled, though some will be held using video conferencing.

East Lindsey District Council has also announced plans to cancel meetings.

West Lindsey District Council will be holding its prosperous communities committee tonight as planned, however, a part before the authority’s full council on April 6 will propose to cancel meetings until September.

The authority has cancelled productions at the Trinity Arts Centre in Gainsborough for four weeks and has upped measures to protect mourners attending Lea Fields Crematorium by reducing seating, removing bibles and discouraging guests from touching coffins.

North Kesteven District Council said it was “working hard to maintain levels of service delivery” but is reviewing the situation on a daily basis.

However, it has suspended meetings of the council and its sub-committees – including a planning committee due to take place today.

It has kept its reception open, but is encouraging residents to contact the authority through alternative means.

Councillor Richard Wright, leader of North Kesteven District Council

However, information offices and heritage sites such as Cogglesford Watermill, Navigation House, Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum and Mrs Smith’s Cottage have been closed or cancelled.

Council leader councillor Richard Wright said: “Everything we do is informed by latest advice and guidance from government and public health colleagues.

“Principally, we are seeking to ensure we do all that we can to delay the spread of the virus, protect vulnerable individuals as much as possible and ensure the continuation of critical services.”

North East Lincolnshire Council’s full council meeting set to take place on Thursday has been cancelled.

The authority said at the time it would continue to review its position.

SUBSCRIBE TO LOCAL DEMOCRACY WEEKLY, our exclusive email newsletter with highlights from coverage every week, as well as insights and analysis from our local democracy reporters.

Spotted an error? Please notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.