Council meetings reopen to the public
The conduct and operation of The Hills Shire Council’s Ordinary Meetings has been impacted during the coronavirus pandemic, however, in accordance with the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 4) 2020 from 30 June 2020, members of the public are now permitted to attend Council Meetings in person. Those attending meetings must adhere to strict social distancing measures (1 person per 4 square metres).
Council is mindful of the safety and welfare of Councillors, staff and the public meaning extra precautions and management of the meeting and chamber is required. Social distancing requirements means a maximum of 24 public attendees will be allowed to be in the Council Chamber at one time.
Members of the public are required to register their attendance by 10am on the day of the meeting by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and detailing the item/items they are interested in. Should more than 24 people request to attend the meeting, where possible rostering will take place so that people can attend for the item they are interested in. Council will endeavour to accommodate requests but cannot give a guarantee due to capacity requirements. A return email will be sent to anyone wishing to attend with details concerning attendance.
Members of the public will be able to register to address Council on matters on the agenda. Also, members of the public will be able to register to ask a question of Council in community forum however community forum is not for speeches by members of the public. To assist in limiting movement around the Council Chamber, the Public are not able to speak at the meeting and must send their speech to email@example.com by 5.00pm on the Monday preceding the Council Meeting.
Should you wish to speak on an item on the Agenda or ask a question of Council in Community Forum, you are requested to email your speech to firstname.lastname@example.org and if approved, it will be read out at the meeting. Please note that questions in Community Forum cannot be about an item on the Agenda and should be limited to questions only. Questions may not be answered at the meeting in accordance with the procedures and rights contained in the code of meeting practice.
Please do not register or come to Council if you are ill even in a minor way. Please also do not come if you have come into contact with someone who is displaying fever, cold and flu like symptoms. Seating will be arranged to comply with social distancing requirements and contact details will be collected in order to contact attendees in response to any COVID-19 outbreak. Additional cleaning has been implemented, including high touch points, to ensure compliance with COVID-19 safety guidelines.
We value the safety of our community members and will be doing all we can to keep you safe. Thank you for your understanding during these difficult times.
Please check any new Public Health Order that may be issued following the publication of this notice for changes to procedures for Council Meetings, or call 9843 0555 for clarification.
The Hills Shire Library Service
Following the recent Public Health Order, The Hills Shire Library Service is continuing to move forward with reopening.
From Monday 6 July residents will be able to visit all four libraries to borrow and return items. This includes the newly renovated Baulkham Hills Library.
In line with the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Safety Plan for Libraries, we are still required to quarantine and clean all returned items prior to returning them to the shelves. Click & Collect services are available for all residents and the “Stay Home and Read” service for seniors will continue until at least the end of July depending on how the pandemic evolves.
Weekend opening will resume across the service from Saturday 11 July and evening services will be available once per week at each library.
Chapters café at Castle Hill Library has also re-opened.
Scanning, printing and copying services will recommence, and two public computers will be available on a pre-booking only basis for customers who may need to use a PC for up to 30 minutes at a time.
Due to the strict limits on the number of customers allowed in each library to ensure observance of the 4sqm per person at any one time, we are unable to accommodate students at this time for study.
We will continue to monitor this situation over the next two weeks with the view to potentially opening limited study facilities on a booking system towards the end of July.
Hills Voices in the Time of COVID-19
The Hills Shire Library is documenting the experiences of life in the Hills Shire during the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions so that we have a record for researchers and future generations. We will also be posting selected submissions on our website and social media, and may make them available in the future. To submit your experience or for more information, click here.
All funerals at Castle Hill and Sackville cemeteries must follow the 4sq metre social distancing rule as per the Public Health Order to a maximum of 50 people.
Current advice on changes to other Council services and operations
Existing and additional changes to services and operations will be updated as the situation changes.
- All bushcare and nursery volunteering in The Hills is postponed until further notice. Advice about the resumption of regular Bushcare and Community Nursery activities will be updated as the situation changes.
- Bidjiwong Community Nursery is currently closed until further notice.
- Council is currently not accepting applications for work experience opportunities. Advice about the resumption of work experience opportunities will be updated as the situation changes.
- Household bins and clean-up material will now be collected from 5am on local roads and 4am on main roads in order to stagger drivers for social distancing purposes. For more information, read the media release.