Harrogate council to use Convention Centre for first full in-person meeting since lockdown began

Harrogate council will hold its first full in-person meeting since the start of lockdown at the town's Convention Centre.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 1:15 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd July 2021, 1:18 pm
Harrogate Convention Centre was used as an NHS Nightingale hospital during the pandemic, but did not treat a single Covid patient.
Harrogate Convention Centre was used as an NHS Nightingale hospital during the pandemic, but did not treat a single Covid patient.

All councillors were due to come together at the authority's Civic Centre headquarters on Wednesday, 7 July but the venue has been changed after the government delayed the end of all coronavirus restrictions until later this month.

A council spokesperson said the change was necessary because there is not enough room for all 39 councillors to socially distance within the council chamber.

The spokesperson said: "Due to social distancing guidelines, the meeting of the council on 7 July will now be held at Studio 1, Harrogate Convention Centre."

Meetings have been held online during the pandemic, but the government ordered all local authorities to hold them in-person from May.

Wednesday's meeting will be livestreamed on the council's YouTube channel and members of the public can attend in person.

Up for discussion is a decision to remove a limit on the number of wheelchair accessible taxi licences despite concerns from cabbies that it will have a "devastating" impact on trade.

Councillors will also be asked to approve the permanent livestreaming of meetings, while Liberal Democrat councillors have tabled a motion asking for the creation of a Harrogate Town Council to be “strongly recommend” under plans for local government reorganisation.

Pay rises for some of the council's most senior staff are also on the agenda.

The meeting will start at 5.30pm.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter