Local authorities across the country are converting their public buildings to mass-vaccination centres to help in the fight against Covid-19.
They’re granting emergency licences for buildings such as offices, storage facilities and even council chambers to be used by the vaccinators, with ten large centres opening in the past week.
However, councils must take steps to protect their interests while providing this much needed public service.
Our top five tips to council’s when granting an emergency licence for Covid-19 vaccination centres are as follows:
1. Lease or Licence - As is almost always the case with licences, it is crucial to guard against the danger of accidentally putting in place a lease. This could result in the vaccinators acquiring a secure tenancy of council buildings. Make sure the vaccinators do not have exclusive use of the premises. The council must have the right to terminate the licence at the council’s will.
2. Check the wording – a badly worded licence could also result in council resources being overstretched, for example, if responsibility for managing car parking or security of the premises is placed with the party granting the licence.
3. Licence fees – the licence fees should be flexible enough to cater for the council’s increased costs associated with those premises, for example in utility bills, wear and tear and adaptations such as extra hygiene facilities.
4. Protect the council - top of the must-have provisions for councils is an indemnity from the party taking the licence, usually the NHS, to ensure that council’s can claim back any losses arising from the new use of the property from the body administering the vaccine.
5. Here’s one I prepared earlier! - an added difficulty with negotiating suitable licences is that the vaccination centres are being set up at short notice. To reduce council risk, prepare a form of licence which you are comfortable with and then roll it out for use in all vaccination centres.
"Rolling out a vaccine to tens of millions of people is a monumental task, so it is hugely encouraging to see the daily progress on rolling out the vaccine, and councils are in a strong position to support this". Local Government Association (LGA) chairman, Cllr James Jamieson