Concerns for safety over mask wearing ahead of full Nottinghamshire County Council meeting

A Nottinghamshire councillor has raised concerns over safety if masks are not worn during full council meetings.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 11:07 am

During the adult social care and public health committee meeting on Monday, councillor Stephen Carr, said he was “not so certain” he would feel safe if masks were not worn during the full council meeting this Thursday.

It comes after a group of councillors walked out of a Gedling Borough Council meeting earlier this year after they were questioned about wearing masks.

Coun Carr said: “On Thursday we are going to be expected to sit in this room with up to 80 other people, some of whom won’t be wearing masks despite the fact that government guidance is that you should wear a mask in that sort of an environment.

A councillor has raised concerns over safety if masks are not worn during full council meetings of Nottinghamshire County Council.

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“How do we equate that with our public health duty and our recovery from Covid?”

He added: “I am not so certain that I am going to feel safe on Thursday.”

Government guidance states that “you are expected and recommended to continue wearing a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with people you don’t usually meet” – but it is no longer a legal requirement.

Councillor Paul Henshaw said: “Bearing in mind that infection rates are going up, hospitalisations are increasing and this pandemic is far from being over.

“That’s why I am wearing a mask. I will be wearing a mask on Thursday and hopefully we won’t be in an environment where the virus will be spreading around.

“As someone who has had the virus, prior to being vaccinated, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.”

The council’s corporate director for adult social care and public health, Melanie Brooks, said: “The council has always been committed to follow the current guidance and good practice that is set down for us in our Covid security.

“It isn’t within the scope of the public health team to agree how political meetings are conducted but my understanding is the facilities team work to the guidance around risk assessment.”

Councillors will meet for the full council meeting at County Hall on Thursday, September 23.