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.