Key decisions have been put on hold after several senior members of Bath and North East Somerset Council tested positive for Covid-19. Last Thursday evening (March 17th) the cabinet had been due to consider an extension to the Adoption West contract and a new business plan for the authority’s renowned museums and galleries.
Those issues have been postponed until March 31st, which was due to be a special meeting focused on the £540 million City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement.
The last time the settlement was on the agenda, it was the only item residents were able to comment on or ask questions about.
A Liberal Democrat spokesperson said members of the public “aren’t going to miss out on speaking/Q&A”, and the Council’s calendar now shows two separate cabinet meetings on March 31st. The official reason for cancelling the meeting is “the highly likely possibility of the meeting being non-quorate due to cabinet members testing positive for Covid-19”.
It is not known exactly who in the cabinet has tested positive, but in his weekly newsletter, Council Leader Kevin Guy confirmed that he had – and he is currently isolating.
The news comes amid 1,100 new cases a day across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire, up from 560 last month, with more people being admitted to hospital. Gill May, the regional clinical commissioning group’s director of nursing and quality, said: “Covid-19 is still very much with us, and these latest figures show it is still causing misery for hundreds of people in our region, as well as adding significant pressure to our already-stretched health and care services.”