Councillors risked catching coronavirus this week to agree emergency measures to keep things running.

East Ayrshire councillors were asked to meet this week [Tuesday, March 23] to agree to cancel all future meetings until it was safe and create a new Executive Committee and cancel all council, cabinet and committee meetings, with immediate effect.

The proposals were set to be approved as the Chronicle went to press - before that meeting was itself cancelled following the First Minister’s lockdown announcement on Monday evening.

They were asked agree to support community resilience fund up to a maximum of £5,000 delegated to the Interim Head of Housing and Communities to approve grant applications.

Meeting papers state: “Given that the impact of the pandemic will increase in its severity over the next few weeks, and taking cognisance of the rapidly changing situation, it is proposed that the Council should take immediate steps to put in place revised decision-making arrangements in order to reduce the need for council, cabinet, committees and other meetings.

“It will meet and determine urgent and important business as and when required, noting that Officers will continue to maximise their existing delegated


Council agree that all Council, Cabinet, Committees and Panels will be cancelled with immediate effect until at least the current scheduled meeting of the Council on 25th June, or until such time as national guidance indicates it is safe to resume normal meetings.

“The committee will not have responsibility for matters remitted to the Planning Committee or Local Review Body as members require to have had specific training which would be dealt with by the calling of special meeting.

Where a planning application presented at a Special Planning Committee has attracted the requisite number of objections which would normally trigger a hearing be suspended.

“It is appreciated that this will result primarily in objectors being unable to speak to their objections at committee. However, there is no legal requirement for a hearing to take place and, given letters of objection are summarised within the planning officer’s report to Committee, representations received as part of the planning application process will still be capable of being taken into account as part of the Committee’s consideration.”

More on the council’s measures in next week’s Chronicle.