We now have the outcome of the High Court Judgement on remote meetings which means that Town and Parish Councils may only hold remote meetings up to and including Thursday 6th May. From Friday 7th May, Councils must meet face to face. If your parish council wishes to call a remote meeting prior to the deadline, please bear in mind that Sundays and Bank Holiday cannot be included in the ‘three clear days’ but Saturdays can.
Responding to today’s judgement in the High Court on holding remote meetings, Cllr Sue Baxter, chair of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC), said:
“I am extremely disappointed that the application to the High Court regarding remote meetings has been dismissed.
“All councils must now return to holding physical meetings from 7 May. This includes around 2,000 local (parish and town) councils with elections who must hold an annual meeting in May following those elections.
“Such physical meetings, to which all members of the public are entitled to attend, will result in both a health risk given the current pandemic and significant additional costs incurred by councils in securing suitable venues which allow social distancing and other safety measures.
“Over the last year, the ability to hold remote meetings has delivered extensive benefits including leading to increased participation and engagement by members of the public with their most local council and the decisions they make about their local areas from tackling climate change to improving health and well being and the provision of highly valued local services.
“Given the government’s apparent support for allowing remote meetings, including their evidence to the Court Hearing, I am appealing to ministers to pull out all the stops over the coming days and weeks to introduce the necessary primary legislation. The Scottish and Welsh Governments have already passed legislation to allow for remote meetings and I urge the Government to follow their lead.”
An Election is to be held for a Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia Police Area.
Latest Time for Submission of the Election Addresses of Candidates to the Police Area Returning Officer 12 noon on Thursday 8th April 2021
Nomination papers must be delivered by hand to the Police Area Returning Officer at the Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY2 6ND between 10am and 4pm on any working day after publication of this notice but no later than 4pm on Thursday 8 April 2021
what3words is now used by 80% emergency services in the UK (including West Mercia Police, Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service and West Midlands Ambulance Service) and has helped to locate nearly 4,000 incidents since it first started being used. It can also be used to help us locate incidents more easily.
Their system has given every 3m square in the world a unique identifier made of 3 words – making the location of any emergency or incident very easy to describe and share. For example ///tortoises.swarm.announce will take you to a precise location on Ben Nevis where, in February 2020, a group of hikers were rescued.
When you are at the location of the incident open the app and tap the arrow icon for current location
Share with the emergency service, the 3 words displayed at the top of the screen
You can also use the photo icon to take a picture of the incident and it will automatically add its what3words address
Make sure you have it downloaded on your phone and know how to use it, to help you have it to hand should you come across an incident or even need to guide the emergency services to your home or that of a neighbour.
In February, the Parish Council started to supply free packs of SmartWater to each household in the Parish. During the Lockdown, the Police have kindly co-operated by posting some packs direct to residents, however a few have been returned as ‘not known at this address’. If you have not received your pack please e.mail the Parish Clerk with your name and address and one will be sent to you.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, John Campion has invited Parish Councils to join a scheme to supply Smartwater to every household.
Smartwater contains a unique forensic code, which, once applied, enables equipment to be traced back to the owner. It is easy to apply and needs only a spot the size of a pinhead to identify property, it is almost impossible to remove and is guaranteed for 5 years.
The Smartwater has been purchased by the Parish Council and will be supplied FREE Of CHARGE to Parishioners of Aston Botterell, Burwarton and Cleobury North, who will be able to collect and register their pack at Cleobury North Village Hall on Thursday 12th March 2020 between 4pm and 7pm.