Posted: Wed 7th Oct 2020

Cheshire West leader ‘expects a decision this week’ on its request to have tighter COVID-19 restrictions imposed

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Oct 7th, 2020

Cheshire West leader Cllr Louise Gittins says the authority ‘expects a decision this week’ on its request to government for more restrictions to be imposed on the borough.

Cllr Gittins added: “We feel even stricter measures will need to be implemented in the future if cases continue to rise”.

The news comes in the week in which Cheshire East leader Cllr Sam Corcoran said a joint plea to the government for more ‘enforcement powers’ and resources to tackle the county’s infection rate has not seen a response.

The co-penned ‘detailed, nine-page document’ between CEC, CWAC, Warrington Borough Council, and the area’s local enterprise partnership — seperate from the restrictions request — ‘sets out the reason behind each measure, what is required from the government, and what additional resources are required’, according to Cllr Corcoran.

He added: “I hope that this time, we will receive support for our suggestions. We are trying to work with the government to avoid the need for additional restrictions to be imposed on us.”

In the same video posted to Twitter, Cllr Corcoran also said an earlier CEC-only request for more enforcement powers on September 22 has only received radio silence from Whitehall.

However, Cllr Gittins and Cllr Corcoran’s differing views on extra restrictions — with CEC trying everything to avoid them and CWAC actively seeking them out — does contradict past messages of the two authorities working together in partnership.

Previous CWAC outbreak board meetings saw officials state they wanted to see the same measures implemented in both areas, with Cllr Gittins commenting: “These measures come at a significant local cost, and we will bring proposals forward in partnership with neighbouring councils to ensure they are fully funded across our sub-region, alongside measures to support businesses that will be adversely affected.

“We realise the challenges caused by new restrictions but feel it is the best option to tackle this virus at this point in the pandemic.”

At CEC’s October cabinet meeting, deputy leader Cllr Craig Browne reiterated the authority’s position of acting now to prevent further restrictions, and revealed CEC asked Cheshire MPs to lobby for the council in Westminster.

As of October 2, CEC’s infection rate stands at 113 cases per 100,000 residents, up from 53.9 on September 25.

Comparatively, CWAC’s infection rate is now 118.3, an increase from 65.6 seen the week prior.

All residents are being asked to:

-Keep to the rule of six;
-Wash hands regularly;
-Wear a face covering in places where social distancing may be difficult and;
-Social distance by two metres
-If you have COVID-19 symptoms of high fever, continuous cough and loss of taste or smell, then self-isolate immediately and get tested by calling 119 or visit the NHS website.

-If you have a positive test or are alerted by a contact tracer, play your part to protect your community by self-isolating; this is now a legal requirement.

By Ethan Davies – Local Democracy Reporter

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