Council meetings cancelled to slow spread of coronavirus

Inverclyde Council has cancelled all its committee and sub-committee meetings from today (Wednesday 25 March), in a move designed to help stop the spread of the Covid 19 Coronavirus by reducing face-to-face contact between councillors, the public and council officers.

The powers exercised by the committees and sub-committees will now be administered by the council’s six strong, all party, Policy & Resources Executive Sub-Committee.

The sub-committee includes councillors: Stephen McCabe (Convener) - Labour, Jim Clocherty (Vice Convener) - Labour, Ronnie Ahlfeld – Independent, Chris McEleny – SNP, Elizabeth Robertson – SNP and David Wilson – Conservative.

The General Purposes Board, Local Review Body and Planning Board will continue to meet, where necessary, as they deal with applications for licences, permissions and other forms of statutory consents.

Councillor Stephen McCabe, Leader of Inverclyde Council, said, “We have not taken this decision lightly and I can assure the people of Inverclyde that these emergency measures will be revoked as soon as possible.

“Covid 19 is having a widespread and significant effect across Inverclyde, across Scotland and across the world. It is important for us to set an example in terms of social distancing while making sure that the essential business of local government goes on uninterrupted.

“These emergency arrangements will help minimise face-to-face meetings while still allowing us to effectively manage urgent Council business. We will also be using tele-conferencing where possible.”

Steps are also being taken to minimise the possible effect on the community in terms of General Purpose licensing timescales. This may involve the extension of certain licences and changing the interval between renewals.

The General purposes Board discharges the council’s statutory responsibilities as the licensing authority and as the authority responsible for registration.

The Local review body reviews applications for planning permission or for consent, agreement or approval which have been refused, granted subject to conditions or have not been determined within the prescribed period. It also carries out all the other functions laid down in the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 and in terms of the Town and Country Planning (Scheme of Delegation and Local Review Procedures) (Scotland) Regulations 2008.

The Planning Board discharges all the development control and building standards functions that the council has as a Planning Authority, Buildings Authority and as Verifier and Enforcer.