Virtual council meetings if self-isolation is required

Staffordshire County Council is prepared to hold virtual meetings if members and staff need to self-isolate because of coronavirus.
The authority has plans in place to deal with the effects of a surge in cases of the infectious virus, as Covid 19, (writes local democracy reporter Kerry Ashdown).
Last week four people in Staffordshire had been confirmed as having the virus, and another patient who is not from Staffordshire or Stoke-on-Trent has been treated for Covid 19.
Now health services and local authorities are gearing up for more cases and measures such as people self-isolating to reduce the risk of its spread.
Several public events and gatherings have been cancelled or postponed elsewhere in the country as a precaution.
But in Staffordshire it is still business as usual for councils.
Staffordshire County Council’s deputy leader and Cabinet member for health, care and wellbeing Alan White said: “Our advice is still the same – follow good personal hygiene, wash your hands regularly and thoroughly and if you cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.
“Like all councils, we have extensive business continuity plans in place, which are put into action in the event of any major incident. We already operate on agile working principles, so we are fully equipped to conduct meetings virtually to ensure that core county council business can continue.”
A Stoke-on-Trent City Council spokesman said the authority was continuing to follow Government advice.
He said: “It is business as usual. As part of business continuity preparedness, we are ensuring that we have the correct processes in place so that council decision making continues.” 
Stafford borough council is also currently running as usual, spokesman Will Conaghan said.
Newcastle borough council has “well-developed arrangements for officers and members to work remotely” a spokesperson said.
They added: “This is very much part of our day to day working practice.
“In a situation like this, the council prioritises the health and well-being of its staff, elected members and the community it serves.”