By Tony Earnshaw LDRS
The government’s decision to keep the majority of England in Tier 3 Covid restrictions means there will be no change for the people of Kirklees – at least for now.
The district’s MPs reacted with a mixture of pragmatism and disappointment to Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s announcement in the House of Commons.
Barry Sheerman, veteran Labour MP for Huddersfield, said it was vital that everyone held their nerve and met the challenge of the pandemic head-on.
He said recent improvements had not been strong enough and that the data had not allowed for a downgrading of Kirklees’ position from Tier 3 to Tier 2.
He added: “Of course it’s disappointing and it’s tough on businesses. My heart goes out to them. However we are in a position where we must be as careful as possible to save lives.
“Vaccinations are available now and are starting to spread across the country. It’s more important than ever to hold our nerve and be tough.
“It’s going to be tough over Christmas for so many but let’s keep going. It’s public health that’s important, and keeping hospitalisations down, so we have got to accept it.”
Jason McCartney, Conservative MP for Colne Valley, said the government had reacted with caution even though cases have been coming down in the borough in recent weeks.
He said: “I was really hopeful that with cases plummeting and hospitalisations down in Kirklees we would have a good chance of moving down a tier but I appreciate that the Secretary of State with public health advice wants to be cautious.
“I hope if we continue to make good progress we could get more positive news next week.”
Batley and Spen’s Labour MP Tracy Brabin called for a continued community response to keep fighting the virus.
She said: “It’s difficult but I understand the government’s caution in the lead up to Christmas keeping West Yorkshire in Tier 3 even though our infection rates have reduced.
“The data shows us that whilst our numbers have dropped there is now a small rise in infections that meeting families over Christmas will only exacerbate.
“I know our community has been hit hard but by working together and following the guidance we can get through this terrible time and come out of restrictions altogether and return to some normality.”
Mark Eastwood, Conservative MP for Dewsbury, said it was regrettable that West Yorkshire remained in Tier 3 despite “our significant progress”.
He added: “If people continue to show the resolve we have done to date, and if the situation continues to improve, we will make a case for restrictions to be relaxed.