Supporting Local Councils in Leicestershire & Rutland

LRALC email containing guidance for Member Councils during period of mourning

Dear Member Council,

Due to email failure we are aware that some of our councils did not receive the below communication from us at 10.30am this morning. It is copied for your reference.

Dear Clerk,

I was very saddened to hear yesterday evening of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Having seen photos of The Queen on her feet on Tuesday, to hear that she had died yesterday was a shock. Even though we had anticipated it, it doesn't make it any easier. Our thoughts are with the whole Royal Family, and we hope they feel the enormous gratitude we have for The Queen's seventy years of public service to the country and Commonwealth.

LRALC will provide member parish and town councils with a regular email briefing (check daily) and update our website until the middle of next week. The daily briefing will have all the information that is known to us and will hopefully answer all your questions. Please contact us with your queries, but we may not be able to respond rapidly to every email that comes in as unfortunately we are one person down for a week due to annual leave. I will try to include answers in the daily briefings.

There is an agreed London Bridge Plan for Leicester and Leicestershire and we are recipients of this plan and will receive guidance from the Lieutenancy Office. Unfortunately, this is not in place for Rutland but the practice is unlikely to differ. Much of the plan we have is specific for City, County, District/Borough Councils, but not Parish and Town Councils. We will be looking to NALC to provide guidance on whether our sector needs to mirror the higher tiers.

In terms of protocol, there is much that is unknown or uncertain, and there are conflicting reports in the national press. Official announcements today will clarify things and will be included in the next briefing.

Count of Days

It is thought that because the announcement that The Queen died was made in the evening yesterday that today, Friday 9 September 2022 may count as "D Day", then tomorrow, Saturday 10 September 2022 is D+1, and so on. This will be confirmed today.

The Proclamation

We are expecting the Proclamation to be read tomorrow, Saturday 10 September 2022 at 1100. The Proclamation of Accession is read out at St James's Palace in London, and then again at the Royal Exchange, in front of the Lord Mayor of the City of London. The Proclamation will also be read in Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast, and will be published in the Gazette. That means the Proclamation would be read at 1300 on Sunday 11 September 2022 in our area. Parish and town councils wishing to read the Proclamation, should do so in the late afternoon or early evening of Sunday.

Council Meetings (Including Committee Meetings)

The days of national/public mourning have not yet been officially confirmed, but are likely to start from today, Friday 9 September 2022. It is our opinion that yesterday (Thursday) may count as a proper day of notice for council meetings, but today (Friday), will not. Any council meetings next week that were relying on today (Friday) for the proper notice should be postponed. If they go ahead, then decisions made at them may be subject to legal challenge.

In any case, even though there is no legal reason why a council cannot meet in the coming week (subject to the proper notice), you may wish to consider whether a council meeting at this time is appropriate.

In theory, the earliest date that a council meeting can now take place lawfully (assuming no notice has yet been published) is three clear days after the expiry of the period of national/public mourning. We are expecting the earliest meeting date to be 26 September 2022, but that date is subject to confirmation, and we will advise further in the coming days.

Books of Condolence

Principal Authorities in our area are opening books of condolence, which will be available at their main premises. They will email you details of these. Parish and Town Councils can open their own books of condolence, or direct residents to their local Principal Authority, or direct residents to the official online book of condolence at www.royal.uk.

Flag Flying

Ideally, council-owned flags should have been lowered to half mast yesterday evening as per our website posting at 18.37 (see here: News | Leicestershire & Rutland Association of Local Councils (leicestershireandrutlandalc.gov.uk)). They should be raised to full mast at 1100 on Saturday 10 September 2022 for the Proclamation and remain at full mast until 1300 on Sunday 11 September 2022. They should then be returned to half-mast until 0800 on the day after the funeral. Note: For parish and town councils reading the Proclamation locally the flag should be raised to full mast during the reading.

General Remark

The protocols and procedures are of course very important, but this is a big moment in history, and you must take your own time to reflect and to come to terms with it. It is a time to be respectful and for quiet contemplation. It would be a shame for any clerk or councillor to get so tied up in a whirlwind of protocol that you look back and realise you have not made time for your own period of reflection. Approach the next few days respectfully and calmly. LRALC will keep you informed via the daily briefings.

God save the King.

Best regards,

Jake

Posted: Fri, 09 Sep 2022 13:19 by Jake Atkinson

Tags: Lralc, Queen