There’s been a Covid outbreak among York councillors as the city’s cases continue to rise.
As a result the full council meeting tomorrow (Thursday, 24 March) will now be held remotely “in order to minimise the spread of infection”.
The decision has the approval of the leaders of the Lib Dem and Green party coalition leaders, but not the Labour and Conservative group leaders.
Cllr Carol Runciman, executive member for health and adult social care, said:
Health, wellbeing and safety is absolutely paramount at this time, and whilst national restrictions have eased, we are seeing another covid infection spike sweep the country.
Unfortunately, this latest wave of infections has also affected a number of councillors. Therefore, in order to protect many vulnerable colleagues, who are following public health guidance, a decision has been made to hold the upcoming Full Council meeting remotely.
By doing so, this will allow all members, even those who are currently isolating, to participate in the debate on various important matters on the agenda.
There are two parts to Thursday’s meeting. At 6pm councillors will debate a motion to strip Prince Andrew of his Freedom of the City.
The main Full Council meeting follows at 6.45pm, including a report by the executive leader, and debates on motions about ending fuel poverty in York, dentistry and more.
Council leader Keith Aspden said:
I would like to thank colleagues who have worked together to ensure a fair democratic process can take place, whilst protecting vulnerable colleagues and members of staff.
It would not be appropriate for councillors who are still infectious to attend a public meeting, especially when the meeting can be held virtually, with decisions ratified by the council’s chief operating officer.
You can watch the meeting live on the City of York Council YouTube page