Covid-19 precautions at Council meetings

On the 24th May 2021 and the 26th May 2021 the Council will meet face to face for the first times since February 2020, following the emergence of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

The Town Council is required to return to face to face meetings following the lapse of the Coronavirus Act, which allowed Councils to meet and make decisions using virtual technology.

The Council is very much aware that public opinion on face to face meetings is divided, therefore we continue to encourage members of the public to take an active role in our meetings by watching and engaging via our Live YouTube Stream. Access to this stream is free, with any current and reasonably up to date smart phone, tablet or computer able to access the required website / app. Links to the stream are available via https://www.stanley-tc.gov.uk/council-information/agendas-minutes/.

In line with legislation, the Council is required to allow public access to the meetings. Access will be based on a first come first served basis, with members of the public requested to line up outside the Civic Hall on the preassembled two meter distanced tape. Seat availability will be at the discretion of Civic Hall staff. The Town Clerks decision will be final.

Should you wish to attend a Council meeting please ensure you follow the below rules, to protect yourself and others around you.

Covid-19  guidance for attending council meetings at the Stanley Civic Hall.

Before coming to the meeting:

  • Lateral Flow Test – and check that you test negative.   Everyone attending (councillors, staff and public) are strongly encouraged to take a lateral flow test before coming to the meeting. These tests are available free of charge, from local collection points and posted direct to your door – https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests or you can book a test at one of your local testing points – https://www.durham.gov.uk/CovidLFT   (These tests can be taken twice a week on a regular basis and form part of the national plan to protect against spread of the coronavirus.  Note that a negative test means that you do not have a high viral load, the usual covid-19 precautions should continue to be followed). Testing should be undertaken within 48 hours of your expected attendance at the meeting.
  • Wash your hands
  • Remember to bring a face covering
  • Think – do you need to attend the meeting in person, or could your question / comment be sent to the council by email, letter or telephone.

When attending the meeting:

  1. You MUST NOT enter if you or anyone in your household has Covid-19 symptoms – ie one or more of the three main symptoms:
    1. high temperature
    2. new, continuous cough
    3. loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  2. Upon entering the Civic Hall, you must scan the QR code using your NHS App or give your name and contact tel/email for inclusion on the register for the meeting. This information will be held for 21 days and may be used for covid-19 track and trace purposes.  After 21 days the register will be destroyed
  3. You must notify the Town Clerk if you develop covid-19 symptoms within 10 days of attending the meeting
  4. Keep 2 metres social distancing as far as possible.  Where there are floor markings, follow them. Follow the one-way system
  5. Use the hand sanitiser provided – when you enter and leave the premises. Clean your hands often
  6. Avoid touching your face, nose or eyes.  Clean your hands if you do.
  7. Face coverings MUST be worn unless an exemption applies
  8. Catch it, Bin it – tissues should be disposed into one of the rubbish bins provided. Then wash your hands
  9. Wear warm clothing – windows and/or doors will be open for the duration of the meeting.

The Town Council strongly encourage members of the public to take advantage of the Councils YouTube Stream where you can watch and engage in the comfort of your own home.

Statement from the Town Mayor

Stanley Town Council are deeply saddened to hear of the death of HRH Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh and would like to extend our deepest condolences to HRH Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family.

HRH Prince Philip has served as the longest Consort in history by the side of HRH The Queen since she ascended the throne in 1952, accompanying her in her duties around the UK and across the globe, until his retirement in 2017 at the age of 96.

He will be forever remembered as creating the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme which began in 1956, equipping and empowering young people from all communities to build the skills, confidence, and resilience they need to make the most out of life. During his life he has supported over 780 organisations.

The Union Jack at the Civic Hall has been lowered as a sign of respect and further announcements will be made over the coming days, including arrangements for a book of condolences, and the laying of flowers.

6 May 2021 – Elections

Elections for all 20 seats of Stanley Town Council and the whole of Durham County Council will be held on 6th May 2021.

Any person who meets the qualifying criteria can stand for election. For more information about what the criteria are and how to stand, check the Electoral Comission’s website

Make sure you’re registered to vote in the forthcoming election.

Just visit https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote it takes only a few seconds. You will need your National Insurance number.

Who’s Standing in the Election?

The full lists of candidates contesting elections for the Town and County Councils on May 6th will be linked below in due course:

2021 Town Council Candidates

2021 County Council Candidates

Stanley Civic Hall Diamond Anniversary

THE DIAMOND ANNIVERSARY

Stanley Civic Hall has been at the heart of the town and community since her opening on 7th January 1961, accommodating many shows through the Alun Armstrong Theatre, cinema films, weddings, and celebrations, not to mention training courses, a base for community groups and conferences.

The year 2020 will be always known as a challenging year for all, however, the Civic Hall has remained at the heart of the town and community, just as was always intended, upon her opening in 1961. Following her recent closure to the public because of government restrictions, she has continued to provide space for the operations of Stanley Town Council, whilst the Alnwick Suite and Lumley Room have housed an extended PACT House team.

Unfortunately, 2021 continues to see her closure, however, whilst she remains unavailable to the public, we have taken the opportunity to carry out some essential maintenance works to ensure she will be ready for use when restrictions allow.

Stanley Town Council believe the Civic Hall has a significant part to play as a vital community resource and we look forward to opening her doors in the not-so-distant future. Once we are allowed to reopen, we look forward to working with clients old and new for all your occasions, including weddings, celebrations, conferences, and shows within her newly refurbished walls. So remember, if you are looking to organise an event of any kind, get in touch!!

Now with all that in mind, we wanted to give you a quick taster of what we have in store for 2021, when we reopen! In December 2021 we are planning to bring back the panto with a production of Beauty and the Beast, we also look forward to relaunching our community cinema programme, and to top it all off, a live events programme. Also not forgetting our private event partners, including MMA contests, Amateur Dramatics and of course our local education conferences and events.

So, whilst she sits quietly, waiting for her next call to provide, please join us in wishing the Stanley Civic Hall a “Happy 60th Birthday” and here’s hoping for a bright and positive future for the Civic Hall in the years to come.

Do you have any fond memories from across the years? Let us know below!

Conclusion of Audit 2019/20

In accordance with the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015, the Council is required to publish a n notice informing electors that the final audited accounts for the year 2019/20 have been published and how they can be inspected if required by the public.

The Notice of Conclusion of Audit can be accessed HERE

The Annual Governance & Accounting Statement can be accessed HERE

West Stanley Disaster Memorial Sunday 16th February 3.30pm

Every year the town stops and pays its respects to the 168 men and boys who were killed on 16th February 1909, when at 3.45 pm, an explosion ripped through the Burns Pit.

It was a disaster that had a huge effect on the town. Over 300 dependents, the vast majority of whom lived in colliery company houses faced destitution after losing their loved ones.

The log book of the East Stanley Board School stated :

“Many of our children have lost father or brothers. The intense grief is unbearable. In my visits I find that 11 of my old pupils have suffered on Tuesday. The West Stanley Disaster has made an awful havoc among our children”

There will be a Remembrance Event held from 3.30 pm on Sunday 16th February. Songs and poems will be sung and recited and the Craghead Colliery Band will perform, followed by the observance of a silence to remember those who died 111 years ago.