Aberdeenshire Council Covid Recovery Reference Group to be dissolved

A group that was set up to help Aberdeenshire Council through the response phase of the COVID-19 pandemic will be closed down

By Kirstie Topp – Local Democracy Reporter

At an online meeting of Full Council on Thursday, January 14 leader and councillor Andy Kille recommended that the Recovery Reference Group (RRG) be dissolved.

The group was initially established in June 2020 to consider and comment on the local authority’s draft plans for transition out of the response phase, consult with stakeholders and partners, and give comments and recommendations to the council and its committees.

It also took on the remit of the Procedures Committee that will now be re-established.

Councillor Kille said

We now know that the Recovery Reference Group was originally meeting once a week but there was not the business requirement for that. It then dropped to fortnightly but still the agendas were very light and in many cases included duplicated agenda items from policy meetings that themselves were able to continue seamlessly.

The last two meetings essentially consisted just of presentations.

As we entered the unknown it was right to set up the Recovery Reference Group but we do now know that it has not been needed in the way we feared it may and now is the time to close it down.

Councillor Kille added that this was also the view of the cross chamber membership of the RRG at its last meeting.

Commenting Councillor Peter Argyle said that setting up the group was “the right thing to do” but noted that it had “served its purpose” and was no longer required.

He explained

In part this is down to the fact that staff and indeed all members of the council responded with incredible flexibility and pragmatism to the challenges that the pandemic threw up right from the very start and the measures we put in place really haven’t been required because of that.

The recommendation was approved by councillors.

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