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Full Council temporarily relocated to Oake Manor

06 September 2021 : Council news

To ensure adequate venue capacity for safe social distancing, September and October’s Full Council meetings have temporarily been relocated to Oake Manor Golf Club, Taunton.

With the Coronavirus Regulations coming to an end in May preventing the continuation of virtual meetings, the spacious conference facilities at Oake Manor will ensure social distancing can be maintained whilst accommodating up to 58 Councillors plus members of the public, which is not presently achievable using the existing Council Chamber.

This change applies only to the Full Council meetings scheduled for 7 September (postponed from July) and 5 October. All other committee meetings, which are smaller in size, will take place as normal in the Council Chamber at Deane House, Taunton.

In preparation for the change of venue, SWT’s Governance team has been working with staff at Oake Manor, implementing a range of measures to ensure the meetings are conducted as safely as possible.

The conference room will be arranged in a theatre style with chairs socially distanced and a signed one-way system will be in place to enter and exit the building. Sanitizing stations and QR posters or sign-in sheets to register attendance will be available.

Face coverings will be required when unseated. To encourage ventilation, the aircon will be in operation as well as the outer doors being left open.

In addition to the Chair’s microphone system, two roaming mics will be available for speakers, which will be sanitised by administrative staff between use.

Instead of being webcasted, 7 September’s Full Council meeting will commence at 6.15pm but will be live-streamed using the council’s Facebook page – details on how to watch will be communicated via social media ahead of the meeting tomorrow.

The outcome of each agenda item will also be posted in real-time via the council’s Twitter page.

Members of the public who previously asked questions or requested to make statements in line with the council’s public participation scheme will be able to attend to do so.

The meeting is also open to people wishing to observe in person, however, to help prevent the transmission of Covid-19, it is advised they view the event remotely via the live stream from the safety of their own home. This advice also applies to the Full Council meeting on 5 October.

Both meetings will also be recorded and uploaded to the Council’s webcasting page for anyone wishing to watch it retrospectively.

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