Following the sad news of the passing of Her Majesty the Queen yesterday, there will now be a period of mourning until 7 days after the funeral.
Here are the key steps you will need to take as a Local Council.
Days appointed for public mourning can not be used in the calculation of three days clear notice of a meeting - this is Local Government Act 1972, s 243. Both meetings due to take place within the period of mourning, and three clear days notice due to be given for a meeting, must be postponed until after the funeral.
Your home page should be overwritten with a black page carrying a portrait of Her Majesty the Queen. Other tabs required during the period of mourning, such as a link to books of condolence, should be displayed below. The following link can be used for book of condolences: https://www.royal.uk/send-message-condolence
Councils should also prepare and add suitable words of condolence from the Mayor or Council Chair to their website.
For larger Town Councils, a condolence book should be made available for signing in your Town Hall/Council Office - your district or county council should be able to provide this. A suitable, framed photo of Her Majesty the Queen should be placed next to the book of condolence.
The Union Flag should be flown at half-mast during the period of mourning. Following the funeral, all flags must return to normal by 9am the next day.
Portraits of Her Majesty the Queen should be hung in council chambers/meeting rooms, with a black ribbon placed diagonally across one top corner. This should be done at the beginning of the period of mourning, remaining in place for one month. Following this, the portrait of the new King should be put in place with an alternative position for Her Majesty the Queen’s portrait found.
A suitable area for floral tributes should be agreed and designated, ensuring it does not block access routes. It must be made clear that flowers should be unwrapped/not left in cellophane, that flowers will be removed on the morning after the funeral and also what you will do with them (ideally arrange for them to be composted).
Councils may have the proclamation read by the High Sheriff, a deputy lieutenant or the Mayor/Council Chair. You should check with your local lieutenancy office for the procedures put in place and to arrange reading of the proclamation.
Flood lights on public buildings should be fitted with a purple filter (or turned off) during the period of public mourning.