Question from: County Councillor Karl Lewis Subject: Number of people accommodated in the Chamber, County Hall
On Thursday 30th September 2021, the Head of Legal and Democratic Services was invited to The Planning, Taxi Licensing & Right of Way Committee meeting. In that meeting on agenda item number 6 the Head of Legal and Democratic Services advised the committee that 19 people could be accommodated in the Chamber in County Hall based on the current Welsh Government guidelines and that the facility had no windows and used mechanical ventilation.
I would like to point out that the Chamber in the Senedd is of similar size to our Chamber in County Hall and also has no windows and relies on mechanical ventilation. Yet 50% of the 60 Members of the Senedd are permitted to sit in the chamber for debates at any one time.
Could the Portfolio Holder explain to me what formula of calculation the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Manager used to come to the precise calculation of 19 people that would be permitted to sit for debates in the Powys County Council, County Hall Chamber please?
Response by the Portfolio Holder:
The use of the chamber and the numbers allowed to use the space has been determined by the property team in association with health and safety officers. The primary concern within the Chamber at County Hall is the ability to social distance (2m). The design of the chamber is fixed and does not allow the team to provide additional access/egress routes which would allow greater use of the space.
Given the current covid transmission rates in Wales and HSE guidance in the workplace there is no intention to change the risk assessment at the current time.