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North Yorkshire Council suspends democratic process

North Yorkshire Council suspends democratic process

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Stuart Minting at 5:22pm 17th March 2020. (Updated at 5:24pm 17th March 2020)

North Yorkshire County Council has suspended the traditional democratic process of meetings with elected members and handed decision-making powers to its chief officer due to the coronavirus outbreak.

  • North Yorkshire County Council has suspended meetings with elected members. 
  • It has handed decision-making powers to its chief officer.
  • The authority’s leader, Councillor Carl Les, said the authority was following the latest government guidance.

The authority’s leader, Councillor Carl Les, said the authority was following the latest government guidance to avoid all unnecessary contact.

He said dealing with the threat of coronavirus was now paramount for the authority and the authority’s senior managers were concentrating on developing action plans to maintain key services during the outbreak.

The council has today agreed to inject £1m from its reserves into its Local Assistance Fund to help residents experiencing hardship due to the difficult circumstances.

The authority’s executive members also agreed that the council should dedicate as much resources as needed to helping supporting community groups that have sprung up recently to help elderly and vulnerable people who are isolating themselves and charities involved in helping during the outbreak.

Cllr Les said:

“It is all about dealing with the virus. There is an expectation that it is going to get worse before it is over.”