Councillor concerned for safety over mask wearing ahead of full Notts council meeting

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

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 4:30 pm

During a meeting of Nottinghamshire Council’s adult social care and public health committee, Coun Steve Carr said he was ‘not so certain’ he would feel safe if masks were not worn during the full council meeting tomorrow,s Thursday.

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

Coun Carr, Liberal Democrat member for Bramcote and Beeston North, 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 government guidance is you should wear a mask in that sort of an environment.

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Coun Paul Henshaw, Nottinghamshire Council Labour member for Mansfield West.

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

“I am not so certain I am going to feel safe on Thursday.”

Government guidance states ‘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.

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Virus

Coun Paul Henshaw, Labour member for Mansfield West, said: “Bearing in mind 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.”

Melanie Brooks, council corporate director for adult social care and public health, 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.”

The full council meeting takes place at County Hall, West Bridgford, tomorrow, Thursday, September 23, from 10am.

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