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Sussex County Council meetings suspended with immediate effect



West Sussex County Council has today announced that it will suspend meetings of council members until the end of April in light of the ongoing Covid-19 situation.

The following meetings will therefore not take place:

• Full Council – April 3
• Fire and Rescue Scrutiny – 18 March
• Performance and Finance Scrutiny – 19th March
• RAAC – 23 March
• Planning 24 March and 28 April – and also the planned site visit in member diaries.
• SACRE – 28 March
• Children and Young People Scrutiny – TFG – 7 April and meeting 23 April
• Governance – 20 April
• Pensions Panel – 27 April
• Health and Wellbeing Board – 30 April
• CLCs and the highways and transport groups in Arun CLC areas.

Decision making will now be taken by individual cabinet members or by using the council’s arrangements for urgent action but some decisions, where practical, will be postponed. We will try to ensure as much involvement as possible by elected members in these decisions.

However some decisions are time sensitive and must be taken despite the current situation. A decision on the future of small, rural schools is still scheduled to be made at a meeting of the Council’s Cabinet as planned although arrangements for public attendance at this meeting is being reviewed in line with guidance.

Planning Committee decisions will be deferred where this is possible to a later meeting but specific decisions may need to be taken in line with urgent action.

Paul Marshall, Leader of West Sussex County Council, said:

“Clearly these are unchartered waters for the whole country and it is vital we keep people safe as we, as a nation, navigate this situation. However there is incredibly important work and decisions that need to continue despite this global pandemic and we are working through the detail as to how we can do that and continue to uphold our democratic purpose as we look after our residents.

This Council is still committed to keeping its decision making processes transparent and open and we will continue to do that. This is an ongoing and changeable situation and we will continue to keep you updated as we move forward.”


How safe is my school in Crawley? Education union launches COVID-19 map



The National Education Union, the largest education union in the UK and Europe which represents over 450,000 members has launched a new website that they say provides ‘accurate, accessible and up-to-date information about the Covid-19 rate in the locality of every school in England.’

The site is aimed at people being able to check what the levels of Covid are around the school and whether the school is on a watch list or not.

They say the site is updated weekly, and the data will show the number of Covid-19 cases in a school’s surrounding area, the trend since last week (an increase or decrease in case numbers), whether or not the school is on a watchlist, and links to any local restrictions in place.

They add:

“In much of the country the map will offer reassurance that case numbers are quite low. In others, it will reinforce public health messaging from local authorities and Government that cases are higher. In all situations it will encourage members of the public to follow all public health guidance.

Where cases are higher, it will support head teachers in encouraging parents and other visitors to school sites to maintain social distancing and hygiene.”

Commenting on the launch, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: 

“Everyone in the education sector has worked hard to make full opening of schools, colleges and universities as successful as possible this autumn, but they have been let down by the Government which hasn’t even ensured that Covid testing has kept pace with need.

“But this website will also encourage parents to support our asks of the Government that they help to support safety in our schools and colleges.

“Parents, students and staff also need urgent answers on next year’s exams, and how fit for purpose they will be. This is in light of not only the past summer’s fiasco, but also the disruption of local lockdowns in the months ahead.”

You can check the information around your local school at their new site by clicking here.

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