December 16, 2021 7.00 pm

More Lincolnshire councils cancel meetings due to Omicron fears

Cases are on the rise

More councils have cancelled their remaining meetings for the year due to concerns over the new Omicron COVID variant.

It is understood the South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership has taken a joint decision to withdraw ELDC’s Full Council meeting due to be held on Wednesday, and Boston Borough Council’s Full Council on Thursday due to the variant.

As reported yesterday, South Holland District Council, the third authority in the partnership, was due to hold a planning meeting at 6.30pm last night but confirmed on Twitter it was postponing the meeting the day before it happened.

The tweet said: “In light of the uncertainties around the new COVID-19 Omicron variant and the need to protect the health and safety of staff, councillors and the public, South Holland District Council has taken the decision to postpone the Planning Committee meeting scheduled to take place.

“The items on the published agenda will be considered at a future Planning Committee meeting, details of which will be published in the new year.”

Following the story, ELDC Labour Councillor Ros Jackson tweeted: “See also ELDC.”

She also Tweeted: “Full council at ELDC is cancelled. Instead decisions will have to be made by emergency executive powers, based on a consultative meeting with councillors over Zoom.”

ELDC leader Craig Leyland replied: “And that decision was made by group leaders of all the political parties at ELDC, including yours.

“Not ideal but necessary as we understand the impact of the Omicron variant and await possible changes in legislation to allow decision making zoom meetings.”

Councils are still legally required to meet face-to-face, however, some leaders have called for a return to measures introduced last year which enabled them to meet remotely.

East Lindsey District Council has 55 councillors covering the authority, while Boston Borough Council has 30.

According to the government’s COVID-19 dashboard, East Lindsey District Council has confirmed 570 cases in the past seven days and has an infection rate of 401.3 per 100,000 population. The figure is up from the seven days to December 7 when it was 373.2.

Boston Borough Council has seen its infection rate increase from 512.4 to 660.7 since December 7. It has confirmed 468 cases in the past seven days. Boston was also the location of the first confirmed Omicron case in the county.

South Holland has seen 423 confirmed cases in the past seven days and currently has an infection rate of 441.3. Compared to the seven days to December 7 this is an increase from 398.5.

Elsewhere, Lincolnshire County Council has postponed its meeting of the executive due to be held next Tuesday, however, this is not due to COVID-19, but instead a lack of information around the government’s settlement figure. It will be rearranged for the New Year.

Lincolnshire as a whole currently has an infection rate of 522.5 per 100,000 population having confirmed 4,004 cases over the past seven days. On December 7, the infection rate for the past seven days was 511.7.

A spokesman for both councils has been asked for comment.

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