Condolence page: https://www.royal.uk
Following the sad news today of the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh I wanted to update you on actions that the District Council is taking. Following the formal announcement earlier today, the Council has put into action its Operation Bridge plan; this is a plan of what the Council will do in the event of the passing of a member of the Royal Family or other Senior National Figure.
This afternoon at 3:30 p.m. myself and the Interim Managing Director attended a Strategic Assessment Meeting (SAM) hosted by the Civil Contingencies Unit (CCU) and chaired by Staffordshire Police. The meeting was to share information relating to the passing of the Duke and what actions are being taken across Staffordshire to ensure that all Local Authorities across the County are taking a unified approach. These details are as follows:
- All Union Flags flying at Council owned sites have been lowered to half-mast and will remain until 8 a.m. on the day following the funeral.
- The front page of the Council’s website will become a memorial page and will include details regarding funeral arrangements, messages of condolence and tributes etc.
- Due to the current pandemic restrictions there will be no physical books of condolence; instead people will be directed to the national online condolence page – located here, https://www.royal.uk/
- There will now be an 8 day period of mourning and it is likely that the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral will take place on Saturday 17th April (though this is to be confirmed).
- Floral tributes will be discouraged and instead people will be encouraged to remember at home; make a charitable donation (though no one should feel obliged to do this, as Councils understand the pressures that have been placed on peoples finances due to the pandemic); sign the online book of condolence.
- There will be no local public events and mass gatherings should not take place.
- There is an official image that should be used by public bodies (attached).
- We are in the Purdah period therefore need to be mindful of communications.
It is likely that even though not encouraged, (floral) tributes are likely to be laid in locations in Towns and villages. These will be treated sensitively and will be left in situ and only be moved if they are causing a risk to public safety. The Council’s Streetscene will be monitoring areas for tributes, but can I ask that if you become aware of any tributes being laid in your areas that you let me know at your earliest convenience please so that these areas can be monitored.