Council meetings that were due to take place over the next week-and-a-half have been called off.

The move comes amid growing concern over the outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus, with the Government urging people to minimise contact with others to avoid spreading the disease.

Cancelled meetings include two area planning committees that were scheduled for Thursday (March 19) and the Hendon area planning committee, which was due to be held on March 26.

Barnet Council is considering scaling down meetings to ensure key decisions can be made while limiting the number of people who attend.

A council spokesperson said: “We have focused on cancelling meetings that were scheduled for the next week-and-a-half.

“We are now looking at meetings further into the future to identify and explore how key member-level decisions can be made in the current circumstances.

“Legally, the council cannot currently hold virtual or remote meetings – but we are exploring options that would limit the number of members and officers required to physically attend meetings.

“We are waiting to see if the government will pass emergency legislation that will allow us to hold remote virtual meetings.”