With the recent Coronavirus outbreak, we are politely requesting that if you have the relevant symptoms, you do not attend the meeting. Upon entrance to the building you will also be required to wash your hands. Thank you.

Bridgwater Town Council has called a Special Meeting for Friday 20th March to consider emergency powers in the light of new Government advice regarding the Coronavirus situation. These include special delegation of powers and closures of buildings. The full proposal from the Leader of Council in conjunction with the Mayor and Town Clerk is as follows.

TC2020/38 Coronavirus ‘COVID-19’

I. to suspend all BTC meetings

II. to close all Town Council owned public used buildings

III. to delegate all powers and decision making of the council to the Town Clerk (except those that are
prohibited by legislation) in conjunction with the appropriate Executive PFH (portfolio holders) as follows
a. Cllr  Smedley – Finance, Communications, Art Centre, Museum
b. Cllr Heywood – Civic engagements
c. Cllr Redman – Town Hall, Premises, Hinkley Point, Carnival
d. Cllr Lerry – Staff, Economy, Cemeteries, Planning
e. Cllr Pearce – Community, Environment, Waterways
f. Cllr Burrows – Transport
g. Cllr Cordiner – Youth
h. Cllr Gibson – Climate Change

IV. That these actions should be in place until annual town council meeting of 21 May 2020; thus
allowing for plans for the Mayor Making to go ahead, but can be lifted at any time should the
national emergency be downgraded and can be extended by the Town Clerk in consultation with and
with the agreement of the majority of the portfolio holders if the situation is still prevalent

V. Staff should be asked to work from home. No staff shall be penalised or forced to use holiday
entitlement if work becomes in short supply or if their role doesn’t lend itself to home working

VI. A system of virtual conferencing to be investigated for weekly link ups with the Town Clerk as

VII. A freeze on all project grants and planned spend until such a time as finances are clearer.
This will not to apply to community centres, wages or where expenditure is contractual or essential
to the running of the council

VIII. Getting communication right with regular daily announcements from a trusted source is
important and the Leader should take on the role of External Communications pulling together
information from the Local Authorities as issued with access to the town council web for

IX. Setting up a Community Support group is something BTC should facilitate (but not run) and the PFH
for Premises should be granted right of access to the Council premises to facilitate this demand as it
develops whether this be resource hubs in the form of neighbourhood groups, village shops, delivery
networks or storage.

X. To work with SDC & SCC as follows:
a) We should ensure there is a plan in place for care for the elderly in the case of mass self-isolation
and a plan for childcare for essential workers if schools and nurseries close
b) All office jobs to be done remotely
c) Minimisation of travel and movement
d) Encourage social distancing
e) More CV testing should be made available
f) Noting that the Supply and Demand system will change drastically -alternatives should be put in
place to deal with the potential for mass income loss -mortgage payments, council rents, council tax,
utility bills, VAT, business rates -including a temporary suspension.
g) Investigate the suspension of rent and rates payments for CV victims


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