Solihull Council suspends meetings until mid-April following coronavirus 'social distancing' advice - The Solihull Observer

Solihull Council suspends meetings until mid-April following coronavirus 'social distancing' advice

Solihull Editorial 18th Mar, 2020 Updated: 18th Mar, 2020   0

SOLIHULL Council is cancelling all formal meetings until April 16 following the government’s coronavirus advice on “social distancing”.

Coun Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council, also announced today (Wednesday March 18) the official closure of the Core Theatre, two leisure centres and the cancellation of all council-run events.

But he said libraries will remain open for now.

Coun Courts said: “I’ve agreed, with support from colleagues across the Council, to cancel all formal meetings until April 16. We do not want to bring people together unnecessarily and we will have to communicate and make decisions electronically. Where necessary I have given the delegated power to our senior officers to make urgent decisions: in the coming weeks we might need an instant response to a situation arising.”

He said the council had decided to take a number of key measures to tackle coronavirus in the borough and help reduce the number of people getting infected.

Coun Courts said:”We are in uncharted territories with this crisis, but we must do what we can to avoid subjecting those at-risk, to even greater risk.

“One consequence of the new guidelines is that in these circumstances our Core Theatre will have to close and I am afraid that all of the events we organise or support will have to be cancelled.

” In addition, our two leisure centres will also close their doors. We are looking at all of our public facing buildings, but do recognise that life must go on.

“More than ever, people will continue to want books to read and need to seek advice at our Community Hubs. For the moment, therefore, we have made the decision that our libraries will remain open.

“What I will say is that, for now, this is the new ‘normal’, but that it is likely to change. Above all, do please keep following the expert advice from the NHS and Public Health.”

He said some of their own officers fall into the ‘at-risk’ categories and this will present the council with “many challenges”.

Coun Courts also made a plea for communities to “look out for our most vulnerable” saying the council will be offering advice shortly to volunteers and community groups in the next 24 hours.

He added: “I know that people in our communities are desperate to get involved and we want to encourage this neighbourliness; we will let you know more about this as soon as possible.

“This is a terrible time, not one I have known in my lifetime, but I do think we all have the opportunity to make a difference, show compassion and help our fellow citizens get through the coming weeks and months.”

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