Medway Councillors have become immune to COVID-19, or that is what they would like you to think after holding a meeting yesterday without any COVID restrictions.
Despite the council informing all of us that “we should act sensibly and encourage us to wear face masks to protect us and others”, they held a council meeting yesterday whilst sitting in close proximity to others.
Photos were posted on social media showing a number of Councillors sitting very close to others. Now it may be difficult to wear a face mask during a meeting, although it could be argued that you could wear one until it was your time to speak, there is no excuse not to separate the seating positions.
There are exemptions for those that find it difficult to wear masks, but it would seem unlikely that all Councillors would be affected by the same affliction. The advice also states that you should continue to wear a face covering “where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet”. So unless our Councillors are all best-buddies, then they should be taking more precautions.
The other piece of interesting news is that in Medway’s Plan B guidance, they seem to have exempted Gun Wharf from restrictions while requiring masks for staff and visitors in all other buildings. This is where the council meetings are held!
It would seem that the instructions from this bunch is to do as I say, not as I do.
Sadly, it is also interesting to note that thanks to the Government, it is not possible to hold these meetings remotely. The Government originally gave dispensation to hold virtual council meetings, then let it lapse and failed to add it to Plan B.
Should the working from home rules stand? Perhaps, but the current rules are a joke and have been rushed through without a lot of thought, hence national rules do not allow council meetings to be held remotely at present. What a mess!