Covid Sheffield: Council cancels almost all meetings for the rest of the year over Omicron coronavirus variant concern

Sheffield Council has cancelled almost all of its meetings for the rest of this year over concerns about the Omicron coronavirus variant.

By Molly Williams, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 4:23 pm

It follows a recent address by Boris Johnson encouraging everyone across the country to work from home wherever possible to prevent the spread of Omicron, a new Covid-19 variant that has a high transmission rate.

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Leading councillors were due to meet in Sheffield Town Hall from 2pm today to make a range of key decisions including on the budget, a £200,000 investment in Parkwood Springs, Heart of the City II and its Streets Ahead contract with Amey as well as take questions from members of the public.

Sheffield Council has cancelled almost all of its meetings for the rest of the year over concerns about Omicron, a new coronavirus variant.

But this, along with almost all other meetings on the council’s calendar including planning and committees on climate change and governance, has now been cancelled.

The council is yet to confirm how decisions will be made following the cancellation.

Why has Sheffield Town Hall not been used for full council meetings this year?

The council held meetings virtually throughout the height of Covid-19 but was ordered by the Government to return to in-person meetings in May.

Instead of the Town Hall council chamber, where full council was held before Covid-19, the council decided to move its biggest monthly meeting to Ponds Forge International Sports Centre so attendees could be socially distanced.

The authority considered Sheffield City Hall, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United football grounds, St Mary’s Church, the Salvation Army, the English Institute of Sport and the Quaker Meeting House but said they were unsuitable.

The total cost of holding full council at Ponds Forge – which is run by Sheffield City Trust (SCT), whose main funder is the council – between May and September was £42,927.