Bradford and Kirklees are part of seven Yorkshire councils seeking more detailed discussion with the Government over balancing national and local measures to contain COVID-19 cases.

Arrangements are being proposed by the councils which will help communities to prevent household transmission and support care homes and low-income residents.

The seven Yorkshire councils, Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Rotherham, Sheffield and Wakefield, have written to Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and Dido Harding, Chair of the NHS Test and Trace Programme.

Their joint letter highlights the challenges in their individual districts and provides an action plan on how localised interventions can help to control the spread of Coronavirus.

The councils have also asked the Government for extra support for low-income households during local outbreaks to allow people to receive a test without feeling concerned about a loss of earnings if they test positive.

They have also asked for additional funding for care homes, which may not survive long enough to act as a safety net for the NHS in the event of a second spike.

Council leaders believe their proposal offers cost-effective solutions towards managing further outbreaks of COVID-19.

They also stress the national and local importance of their proposals in the effort to tackle the spread of COVID-19 and to support the economy by preventing further local lockdowns.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford District Council, said: “We very much welcome the Government’s announcement on extending test and trace. It’s a vital tool and we need the extra investment to make it happen.

“Local authorities are best placed to understand and work with the needs of their local communities. The only way we’re going to beat this virus is by further strengthening our local activity.”

“The actions we have drawn up add pace and scale to our efforts at a local level. We have developed a compelling case for more localised interventions and the added benefits they could generate.  We look forward to exploring with the Government how they can support us put them into practice.”

Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said: “In Kirklees, our infection rates have come down in recent weeks, and are currently stable and we’re in a really strong position to bring them down further but Government needs to meet us halfway and give us the resources we need to do this.

“A key part of our approach is to increase the amount of people being tested and to follow up with all positive cases with a successful Test and Trace programme. We need more financial support to trace contacts at a more localised level so we can protect residents the best we can.

“This will inevitably mean more people either testing positive or being required to self-isolate. This will have an adverse impact on their household incomes and I would ask the Government to help us out.

“Businesses and employees in Kirklees need to be confident that they will not be out of pocket for doing the right thing and protecting others. I urge the Government to reimburse them financially and to help us fight this virus and keep people safe.”