A number of council-run museums, libraries and public toilets in Stoke-on-Trent are to close from tomorrow (Thursday) as part of a ‘managed and proportionate’ response to Covid-19.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council has announced the closure of the following buildings:
- The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery
- Gladstone Pottery Museum
- Etruria Industrial Museum
- Ford Green Hall
- City Central Library
- Tunstall Library
- Longton Library
- Meir Library, but the local centre remains open
- Stoke Library, but the local centre facilities remain open
- Bentilee Library, but the local centre facilities remain open
- Public toilets in City Road, Fenton; Longton; Stoke; and Tunstall.
Council leader Abi Brown said: “As we move into the ‘delay’ phase of this national emergency, we are putting in place business contingency planning which covers how we are managing the authority, including how decisions are being taken.
“We’re responsible for over 700 services to over 250,000 residents. We don’t take any decision to close council services and facilities lightly, but our absolute priority is the health and welfare of our visitors, staff and the wider public as the nation deals with the impact of the coronavirus. We are working in a managed and proportionate way in response to the virus.
“We continue to closely follow the advice of government, the NHS and Public Health England, and have detailed contingency plans in place. These plans have been developed to ensure we can focus on providing services to the children and young people and adults in the city who need our help the most.
“The national picture on coronavirus is rapidly developing. We are carefully monitoring this, and will be providing regular public updates on how this may impact other buildings, facilities and services going forward.”
The government is currently reviewing the regulations around the holding of local authority meetings. While this guidance is awaited, authorities are advised to hold only essential meetings. A report will be published later today (Wednesday) to ask full council next week (26 March) to amend the council’s constitution to strengthen current urgency arrangements and the possibility of holding virtual meetings using video conferencing facilities.