Published: 19 March 2020
Following the escalation of the government response to COVID-19, a number of proposals are being discussed to allow the City Council to continue its day to day functions in these unprecedented circumstances. However, there has also been a need to make some difficult decisions.
The Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum will close to the public with effect from Thursday 19 March until further notice. Similarly, the face to face reception service at the City Council’s offices at Donegal House will close with effect from the same date, though telephone and email communications will be maintained during normal working hours. We will keep the closures under constant review.
The civic functions of the council will be particularly affected, the annual Courts of St George and Arraye have been cancelled due to the volume of people who normally attend. The traditional gathering at the Guildhall on Easter Sunday – prior to and after the Cathedral Service - will also not take place. Senior officers and Councillors are engaged in ongoing liaison with partners in regard to other Civic events scheduled to take place during April, May and beyond.
I would however like to reassure all hirers of the Guildhall that whilst the building remains open, anyone wishing to cancel their booking will be given a full refund. Similar arrangements are in place at the City Council owned Boley Park Community Hall, Darwin Hall, Curborough Community Centre and Cruck House.
The General Markets and Producers Market are continuing as normal for the moment, pending further government advice on retail activities.
A number of proposals that will enable the Council to continue to carry out its other duties are either under discussion or are already in place. In all instances the safety of both the public and City Council staff is of paramount concern and it is likely that further difficult decisions will need to be taken over the coming weeks or months. Up to date information can be found on the ‘News’ section of the City Council’s website at www.lichfield.gov.uk or by calling the Switchboard on 01543 250011.
I look forward to the time when I can bring you more positive news, but in the meantime, and on behalf of the City Council, I wish you all well as we face this considerable challenge.
Councillor Mark Warfield
Leader of Lichfield City Council