NALC statement on council meetings and notice periods during the period of national mourning
Following the sad news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has provided the following information related to local (parish and town) council meetings and notice periods during the period of National Mourning.
NALC is still waiting for official dates to be released, so we are unable to provide some specific detail. Once the dates have been released, further updates will be provided.
Section 243 of the Local Government Act 1972 excludes days of mourning for clear days calculation purposes - the period of notice is affected. Had the three clear days’ notice for a council meeting not been completed by [the day the period of mourning began], the next day to be counted is [the day after the funeral/mourning period, ie Tuesday 20 September]. There are conflicting sources of information on whether the mourning period is considered to have formally started on the 8 or 9 September. For clear days calculation purposes, NALC recommends councils use the 8 September as the day the period of mourning began.
For timeframes relating to any local activity or events, as the first point of contact, local councils contact their local civic officer in their principal authority or Lord Lieutenants' office, who will be coordinating local activity and protocols.
Local councils are not prevented from holding meetings where the relevant three clear days have been satisfied. The period of mourning does not make meetings themselves unlawful. However, we recognise that there are wider considerations than what the law permits and councils may deem it appropriate not to meet, even where they can.
Outside the legal framework, we urge local councils to take a pragmatic and practical approach to their meetings. Local councils are encouraged to act with discretion regarding announcements, publicity or public-facing activity during National Mourning in terms of content and timing. This is particularly pertinent on the day of demise and the day of the State Funeral. Local councils should review the meeting diary for the period of National Mourning and consider whether any adjustments need to be made.
As the first point of contact, local councils should contact their local civic officer in their principal authority or Lord Lieutenants' office, who will be coordinating local activity and protocols. The government have also launched a webpage dedicated to arrangements following The Queen's death.
NALC has shared with county officers information on protocols for marking the death of a senior national figure prepared by the National Association of Civic Officers. Further relevant information may become available on their website at www.naco.uk.com.
This information was last updated at 13.45 on 12 September and will be updated as further official information becomes available.