North Tyne Mayor described the government’s announcement of its domestic three-level lockdown system a “total failure” as it pledged not to approve Level 3 without financial support.
Mayor Jimmy Driscoll The openness about how to unveil the new measures was held by local authority leaders on Friday, October 9th.
In a column in the Chronicle, Driscoll said he and other local leaders were briefed with a civil servant after canceling a last-minute videoconference with ministers.
He wrote: “After an hour, we knew with certainty that we may or may not be in Level 2 or Level 3, which may or may not mean closing some businesses or others, and an unspecified person will make the decision, but on what basis and with what evidence did not We know it, hit the world.
“Then the government propaganda machine announced on television, radio and print, that we had a meaningful engagement.”
During the meeting, Mr Driscoll said, the civil servant was unable to define the criteria for the transition from one tier from Corona Virus Restrictions on another person, or who made the decisions.
After being asked about restrictions, local authority leaders were told, “The bars will close. Maybe restaurants. Maybe or not. Gyms and soft play. But not universities, even though there are two universities in Newcastle with more than 1,000 cases each.”
Driscoll said they were also told that no ministers were “available” to be on call.
He said he had spoken to other northern mayors, who had “the same problems,” and called for a press conference to ask why areas in Level 2 did not receive support to prevent them from having to move to Level 3.
Driscoll said the move could put 59,000 jobs in the Northeast at risk.
He wrote, “Why is North Vacation only 67% while it is 80% nationwide? Why aren’t so many people covered? Only companies that have been forced to close will receive support. Those who do not run public places get nothing. Self-employed, artists, party economy workers, small breweries, and the entire supply chain.59,000 jobs in the Northeast.
By Monday morning, the government had located some of the ministers and senior advisers to the prime minister. It is a pity that it requires media pressure.
“We got a pending response. We may or may not enter level 3. We pressed, where is the evidence for this work? Why can’t we get support now, at level 2, to keep our staff safe? The silence was deafening.”
The mayor said: “Across the party, local leaders are one in this issue. We will not agree to move to Level 3 and destroy livelihoods unless we see evidence that this will keep people safer, or we get financial support to protect our people. Nobody leaves our minds.
“The truth is that you only have to close a place if it is spreading the virus. Otherwise, you will take the problem elsewhere. Most companies take their responsibilities very seriously and do hard work to keep people safe. Few are not. But the powers to close non-compliant companies are weak and subject to legal challenges. Lengthy. “
He said commanders on Friday “finally got a briefing with the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Minister and Senior Adviser No. 10” which was “professional and evidence-based,” and concluded that the current restrictions and the Northeast should remain at Level 2, unless the evidence changes .
“We are in Level 2 at the moment. We still don’t know the criteria that would make the prime minister move us to Level 3. If we did, we could connect him and build public support,” wrote Mr. Driscoll.
The Prime Minister announced the three-tiered system last Monday, with the aim of simplifying the various set of restrictions that were already in place in different parts of England.
He said the growing number of coronavirus cases in the UK “flashed at us like dashboard warnings on a passenger plane.”
He also told MPs that he did not believe it would be the “correct course” to return the country to a state of national lockdown.
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