Temporary Change to Ways of Working at Staplehurst Parish Council
Recent legislative changes have removed the ability of parish councils to continue to carry out the business of the council via virtual meetings. This creates a challenging situation in conflict with COVID-19 lockdown regulations, as council meetings are required to allow residents and members of the public and press to attend. Although there is pressure for the Government to bring forward primary legislation to allow virtual meetings this has not come in time to resolve this conflict.
Staplehurst Parish Council puts the health and safety of its residents, Councillors and members of staff above all else and have therefore decided for a very limited period to operate by delegating powers to the Parish Clerk. A copy of the agreed delegated powers can be viewed via the link: Delegated Powers Section 101. Although the Council have delegated these powers to the Clerk, no decision can be made in isolation, and a minimum of two Councillors will have oversight and be consulted on any decision that the Clerk needs to make.
In preparation the Council have taken many of the major decisions already, for example approving regular financial contracts and any large anticipated expenditure. However, there are some matters that cannot be dealt with in advance for example planning applications.
If you have a planning application that you would like to make representation about, whether you are the applicant or simply a concerned neighbour, the Council urges you to make your representation on the MBC Planning Portal in the normal manner. The Clerk will be reviewing MBC’s portal as would normally be the case for each application and will therefore see any comments being made. However, if you wish to make representation to the Parish Council, as you might have done to the Planning Committee, please email or telephone the Clerk; Email the Clerk or 01580 891761 and make your representations as soon as possible, but ideally a minimum of 3 working days before the date published that the Clerk will make their comments, and the Clerk will ensure that your views are fully considered in any response made by the Parish Council.
A list of forthcoming planning applications will be published on the SPC website: Planning Applications Delegated Powers along with the date that the Clerk will be consulting to make its decision. All comments that residents wish to be considered should be passed to the Clerk by this date.
The Council plans to resume its normal meeting schedule with effect from the end of June, with the first full Council meeting planned for the 28th June and Planning Committee for the 29th June. It is anticipated that these meetings will be face to face and held in the Village Centre as they would have been pre-pandemic. Confirmation of this will be published on this website.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Clerk who will be happy to assist.
All staff and Councillors are available via email; the links for email addresses can be found on the links below.
Thank you for your patience during these trying times. Please stay safe and follow the government’s guidance, available via the following link to the UK Gov website : Government Corona Virus Guidance
Staplehurst Parish Council Emergency Help Team continue to assist vulnerable residents.
The community hub will continue to be open but days and times will vary, please contact Cllr. Paddy Riordan or Mandy Riordan (details below) for further information.
However if anyone find themselves struggling for any reason during the present restrictions, please contact Cllr. Paddy Riordan or Mandy Riordan on Facebook or by message.
If you do not use Facebook Cllr. Paddy Riordan can also be contacted via Email: Cllr. Paddy Riordan
The Hub will remain open as long as needed.
Staplehurst Parish Council - Emergency Help Team operate throughout the year and whilst Councillors have taken over during the COVID-19 Crisis, it is important to remember that the existing team have done incredible work in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
Stay safe and well!
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