Julian pushes Cabinet Office Ministers on listening to York’s leaders over future local coronavirus restrictions
November 12, 2020
This morning in the House of Commons, Julian asked Ministers at the Cabinet Office to listen carefully to feedback from City of York Council and other local authorities when deciding on the future shape of coronavirus measures in the city, when the current national lockdown expires on 2nd December.
At Questions to the Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove, responsible for civil contingencies and coordinating the coronavirus response across government, Julian asked:
“With covid cases in York now well below the level at which the city went into tier 2, can the Minister reassure me that they are listening closely to the feedback and case numbers they are receiving from city authorities, and that York’s restrictions from the 2nd of December will be based on the local virus situation and local judgement, and not decisions imposed from central government, and also are not based on wider regional figures?”
Cabinet Office Minister Penny Mordaunt responded: “First of all, can I acknowledge the immense sacrifices that people in York and elsewhere round the country are making, and what people are having to endure.
As the Prime Minister has made clear, the current restrictions will end on 2nd of December, and then we will return to a local and tiered approach, and of course the government will work with the honourable gentleman and other local leaders in the area to determine what is the most appropriate response, and of course we will, as we have previously, be tailoring any tiers that people have to go into, depending on what is needed locally.”
On leaving the Commons chamber, Julian said: “I am reassured to hear that Ministers will listen to local leaders when deciding on York’s restrictions position from next month, and will certainly hold them to this.
The restrictions tier York emerges into must clearly reflect the virus level in York, and with our city’s per 100,000 infection rate now at 176.6, whereas we were around 279 when we went into tier 2(high alert) pre-renewed lockdown, I believe we should come out straight into tier 1 (medium alert), with careful, distanced indoor mixing of households allowed once again.
Given the hard graft and painful sacrifices made by York residents to get virus cases down, I felt it was essential to make plain to the government that we should not have to suffer prolonged tight restrictions because of wider regional figures, and York’s covid measures from 2nd December should be carefully tailored to our local situation, and based on the feedback of local decisionmakers.”