Dear Clerks and Councillors
It is with sadness that I draft a few short lines this week.
Whilst the business of government must continue and that does include us, we find ourselves caught up in a set of protocols to follow and considering the question as to whether or not scheduled events need to happen during this period of mourning. NALC’s advice is that s.243 of the Local Government Act 1972 excludes days of mourning for clear days calculation purposes – it is the period of notice that is affected. In that instance if the period of mourning began today, had the three clear days’ notice for a council meeting not already been completed by [X, the day the period of mourning began], the next day to be counted is [X, day after funeral/ mourning period not including Sundays etc]. Councils are not prevented from holding meetings where the relevant three clear days has been satisfied. The period of mourning does not make meetings themselves unlawful. However, your council may wish to recognise that there are wider considerations than what the law permits and councils may deem it appropriate not to meet, even where they can.
I had started to prepare my usual weekly update, instead, given the timing, I shall delay that information until Monday and share with you instead updates from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire Council will follow shortly. Members of the public who wish to do so can sign a virtual book of condolence on the Royal website. There will be books available around the county and you may wish to consider how those of limited mobility and technical expertise can be accommodated should they wish to pay tribute.
I’m sure I speak for us all in acknowledging with thanks, a life of service and duty and we send our heartfelt condolences to Her Majesty’s family and those who have worked closely with her; these past 70 years.
Further information will be released as it arrives.
Your BMKALC team