Covid-19 changes to council committee meetings

Due to the current social distancing protocols we have made changes to how our public meetings take place.

From 7 May 2021 physical meetings resumed with appropriate social distancing and other measures to protect those attending.

Wherever possible we will stream meetings live on our YouTube channel and we encourage members of the public to watch meetings on their smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer as this is the safest option.

Details of how you can access the webcasting facility are published on the council committee meeting pages.

Sign up to updates about our committees

If you wish to physically attend a committee meeting please check the latest guidance on this page before doing so.

Before the meeting

  • Please do not attend public meetings if you are experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms
  • We will be streaming many of our meetings online and a recording will be available after the meeting - please consider if you really need to attend the meeting in person
  • Rapid lateral flow tests are available from designated sites, some pharmacies or can be ordered online, please see Regular rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) tests if you do not have symptoms - NHS for more information. We would recommend taking a test before attending a public meeting

On the day of the meeting

  • From 19 July face coverings were no longer mandatory. Council staff will continue to wear face coverings to protect themselves and others. We encourage you to wear a face covering while you enter and move around the building hosting the meeting unless you are exempt
  • Minimise movement around the building while in attendance. Public seating will be laid out according to the latest guidelines. Please do not move seats during the meeting
  • Observe appropriate social distancing from council staff, councillors and other attendees during your visit and follow any one way systems
  • Use the hand sanitiser provided on entering and leaving the building
  • You may still 'check in' for Covid-19 Test and Trace purposes using the QR codes displayed or leave your contact details if you wish. These will be destroyed after 21 days
  • Refreshments will not be provided but you may bring your own drink into the room where the meeting is taking place
  • Toilet facilities will be available but may be limited, for example on a one in one out basis

Asking questions at a committee meeting

You can submit a written question for a committee meeting which, if accepted, will also enable you to ask a supplementary question. We provide written responses to members of the public questions by 5pm on the evening before the committee is scheduled to start.

If you have had a question accepted for the meeting and do not wish to attend in person, you can email a written supplementary question to the committee clerk at councillorservices@herefordshire.gov.uk This must be received at least 90 minutes before the committee meeting.

The supplementary question will be read on your behalf at the meeting and the relevant cabinet member or officer will be asked to respond in the usual way - either by answering the question at the meeting, or by providing an undertaking to write back to the questioner with a written response.

We record all responses to supplementary questions in the formal minutes of the committee meeting.

If you wish to attend the meeting to ask a supplementary question in person, please make the meeting clerk aware so they can advise you of the procedures in place.

Decision making

Most of the council's executive decisions (those taken by Cabinet, a Cabinet Member or an officer under specific delegation) and our operational decisions (those taken by council officers under delegation) are able to progress in line with usual practices.

Our decisions continue to be taken in the usual way - decision reports are published (for five working days), the decisions are taken and published and the call-in rules still apply to our key and non-key decisions.

Officers continue to publish records of their decisions where our constitutional provisions require them to do so.

Any meetings that continue to be virtual meetings will be held in accordance with the virtual meeting protocol.