Concerns about the rapid spread of the omicron variant of covid has prompted Brighton and Hove City Council cancel a meeting of the full council scheduled for this afternoon.
The public participation element of the council meeting will still take place today (Thursday 16 December) because only the lead councillors are required to answer questions.
A special council meeting has been promised for January to cover the business requiring a decision.
An email sent to councillors today said: “Following the advice from the chief medical officer for England regarding the rapid increase in infection rates and the need to take extra precautions, as well as the advice from the council’s director of public health, the mayor, having consulted with group leaders and whips, has decided not to proceed with the full council meeting that was due to start at 6.30pm.
“We understand that other local authorities have taken similar measures.
“All the items that were on the agenda (with the exception of the petition for debate on school admissions – which will be dealt with in the public engagement session) will be withdrawn and carried forward to the next meeting of full council.
“Some of them may have to be decided before the end of January, so we will explore a suitable date for a special council meeting in January to deal with all or some of the items that were on the agenda for today’s meeting.
“We will liaise with group leaders and whips about the best arrangements.”
Three petitions are due to be presented, calling on councillors not to reduce the admission numbers at three local primary schools next year, and these will still be received.
Each petitioner is due to have three minutes to speak while no time limit has been set for the response, with the council saying that it will take all three petitions together.
Campaigners at Carden, Woodingdean and Bevendean Primary Schools were concerned that they would not be given their allotted time when the mayor, Councillor Alan Robins, decided that the council would hear the three petitions together.
Questions from the public and from councillors are also due to be heard at the meeting, along with deputations and petitions which did not receive enough support to secure a debate.
The hybrid meeting at Hove Town Hall and via Microsoft Teams software is due to start at 4.30pm.
It is scheduled to be webcast on the council’s website.