COVID-19 emergency recess procedures have been invoked by East Lothian Council as the coronavirus outbreak continues.

The decision was made by the chief executive following consultation with the three political group leaders (Labour, Conservative and SNP) on the council.

The decision means:

  • Until further notice, scheduled committee meetings will be cancelled.
  • The three political group leaders (or their deputes), along with the relevant cabinet spokesperson (or their depute), will deal in their discretion with necessary council business presented to them by consideration by the chief executive or authorised officers.
  • For a matter to be approved, it will require the approval of the council leader (or their depute) and one other group leader (or their deputes).

All business undertaken during the emergency recess will be subject to reports to East Lothian Council’s Members’ Library, and a summary report will be presented to the next council meeting outlining all business undertaken.

Chief executive Monica Patterson said: “In the view of the increasingly difficult situation arising from the coronavirus outbreak, after consultation with political group leaders, I have made the decision to invoke the COVID-19 emergency recess procedures.

“The outbreak is presenting significant and developing challenges to the delivery of public services.

“It is essential that the council’s focus is on continuing to take actions to sustain critical services as far possible, maximising the availability of our resources in as flexible a manner as possible.

“More generally, we continue to follow national guidelines while implementing appropriate measures.

“It is important that we continue to support each other and the communities we serve at this very difficult time.”