Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Association of Local Councils express their deepest condolences to Her Majesty the Queen, members of the Royal Family and extended members of the Royal Household on the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh.
FURTHER GUIDANCE ON THE DEATH OF
HRH THE PRINCE PHILIP
Where arrangements exist to ensure that only essential staff are going to their place of work it is suggested that no one should be required specifically to travel to various buildings to lower flags to half-mast. If staff are resident on the premises where a flag is being flown and can lower it to half mast then by all means do so, but the health of the wider community outweighs the need ask staff to leave their homes and travel around to lower flags at other sites.
It was previously advised that flags should be flown at half-mast for the duration of the mourning period up until 08.00hrs on the day following the funeral. This has now changed, and your local protocol should be updated to show that flags should be flown at half-mast until 20.00hrs on the day of the funeral (D-Day+8).
Books of Condolence
For the duration of the current emergency Councils may feel that it is not appropriate to open physical books of condolence. The only safe option is to use the online books of condolence where these are available. The Royal Family website has an online book of condolence.
Organisation of Local Events
The idea of bringing people together within their local communities is no longer possible. Councils may wish to postpone any plans that they have to hold events (including civic church services). You may wish to use social media to explain the events that you had planned and to say that arrangements will be made for this to happen when all movement restrictions are lifted and it is safe to do so.
It is hoped that television broadcasters will step in to fill gaps should the need arise.
Laying of Flowers and Donations
Clearly it is very difficult for members of the public to lay flowers and Councils may wish actively to discourage people from doing so. An alternative might be to suggest that people should make donations if they so wish. It needs to be made very clear that Councils do understand the enormous financial pressures that the current situation is placing on some people and that nobody should feel obliged to donate.
Buckingham Palace have confirmed members of the public are asked to consider making a donation to charity instead of leaving floral tributes in memory of the Duke.
Do think about ways in which to use social media:
• To express sadness at the loss of life;
• To explain that you had appropriate plans in place;
• To recognise that the preservation of life and the care and well-being of the living must take precedence over acts of mourning and the remembrance of those who have died;
• To notify people of the necessarily limited response you are making in the current situation;
• To reassure people that when restrictions are lifted and it is safe to do so, there will be opportunities to come together to reflect and mourn.
In addition to the guidance given above, the following might be helpful.
Meetings of the Full Council
If there is to be a meeting of the full Council before the day of the funeral, your Mayor or Chairman might want to start the meeting with a short statement and a minute’s silence. The statement might express sadness at The Duke’s death and say that flags have been lowered to half-mast in the borough. If any members want to wear dark clothing or black ties that would be appropriate, but given the COVID restrictions the public will, it is hoped, understand that Councils are not able to do everything they might have wished.
COVID-19 UPDATE effective 4th January 2021
What is the roadmap for lifting lockdown?
A "roadmap" for easing Covid restrictions in England has been announced by the prime minister.
Roadmap Step 1 & 2
After the first stage in March, further lifting of the rules will happen if certain conditions are met - such as the vaccine rollout going to plan. The aim is for all restrictions to be lifted, which will happen by 21 June at the earliest.
Roadmap Step 3 & 4
Coronavirus - NALC has created a webpage dedicated to the coronavirus COVID_19 for local (Parish and Town) Councils https://www.nalc.gov.uk/coronavirus
Are you organising volunteer groups to help with those in self isolation? Please look at the national platform set up by Timebanking UK and Madeopen for help during the COVID-19 situation https://together.madeopen.co.uk/
CAPALC Coronavirus COVID-19 Special Bulletin
We have created a bulletin full of useful articles from our professional advisor's and local parish/town council case studies which will be regulary updated
CAPALC Coronavirus Publication
Welcome to the website of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Association of Local Councils (CAPALC) a not for profit organisation, representing, training and advising the 240 Local Councils (Town, Parish and Community) and Parish Meetings, in the 4 Districts within Cambridgeshire and the Unitary Authority area of Peterborough. The Association is the first point of contact for the more than 2000 elected Town, Parish and Community Councillors in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough who are working to improve their communities.