Tracy Brabin, MP for Batley and Spen, and Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, have called for the additional COVID-19 measures placed on Kirklees to be lifted.
The Government will decide today (August 27) whether to extend the local lockdown restrictions in Kirklees, which have been in place since Friday, July 31 following a local rise in COVID-19 cases.
Tracy Brabin has already raised concerns over the impact the lockdown measures had on local businesses, in particular, on the beauty industry in Kirklees.
She believes the extra restrictions in place are ready to be lifted in Kirklees as local data shows a low number of hospital admissions for patients with COVID-19.
Across the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, the number of beds occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients has fallen from 170 on 10 April, at the peak of the pandemic, to 11 on 9 August.
Ms Brabin said “Kirklees Council have done an incredible job in implementing the local restrictions that were thrust upon our area at the last minute and with no detail by the Conservative Government.
“Thanks to the efforts by the council and local people in following these restrictions, and a rapid increase in testing capacity, we have thankfully seen a reduced number of people in local hospitals with this virus.
“Many businesses have been badly affected due to these additional restrictions and now it’s time for the Government to look at the progress we have made and lift the restrictions so that Batley & Spen, and the whole of Kirklees, can begin to get back to some semblance of normality.”
Leader of Kirklees Council, Shabir Pandor, joined Susan Hinchcliffe (Bradford) and Tim Swift (Calderdale) in confronting the Government over their lack of clarity on local restrictions.
A joint statement from the three leaders released yesterday also called for financial support and a rigid Test and Trace system to be set up in the three districts.
Councillor Pandor added further reason for lifting the local restrictions in Kirklees and praised the political leaders across the district for their progressive contributions on the current situation.
He said: “I’ve had really useful and positive discussions with all Kirklees’ political leaders, including all MPs, this week. I’d really like to thank all of them for their insight and opinions on how we move forward and I’m hopeful we can continue to work together for the people of Kirklees.
“My position is clear; these restrictions are confusing and are not working. We can bring our rates down without them in place. We understand our communities and we will continue with the great work we’re doing on the ground to target areas in Kirklees with higher rates, making sure people have all the information and support they need to stay safe and prevent infection.
“The current restrictions are keeping us from visiting our friends and families in a safe way. How is it right that you can go to a pub or restaurant that is full of people you don’t know, but you cannot visit a relative in their garden?
“I’m urging the Government to also think about the many businesses in Kirklees that still can’t open, such as soft play areas or our beauticians and salons who still can’t offer close contact treatments. Customers are simply taking their business to other boroughs. Our businesses are being held back and deprived of the same opportunity the rest of the country is getting to bounce back from what has been a crippling economic period.
“My message to the Government is to lift these restrictions for the whole of Kirklees and put your faith in us as a borough to continue with the work we’re doing to keep people safe and bring our infection rates down.”
Information on cases in Kirklees can be found on the Kirklees Covid-19 Dashboard https://public.tableau.com/profile/kirklees.intelligence.service#!/vizhome/CoronaviruscasesKirklees/PublicFacingDashboard