By Tony Earnshaw, LD Reporter

Local authority leaders had to push the Government for a multi-million pound support package as Kirklees and other West Yorkshire councils prepared for Tier 3 Covid restrictions.

In “reluctantly” accepting the tougher new measures Council Leader Cllr Shabir Pandor paid tribute to local people for their patience, understanding, and “community spirit in abundance”.


And Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman, who earlier this week predicted that Kirklees would be placed in extra measures, said it was now time for what he called “a national plan”.

The escalation from Tier 2 to Tier 3 across the West Yorkshire region will impact on businesses including pubs, bars, betting shops and casinos.

It also means people should not travel out of, or into, Tier 3 areas other than for work, education, for youth services or because of caring responsibilities.

Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin said the Tier 3 measures should be accompanied by “a clear road map out of restrictions”.

She said there was “no clear evidence” that Tier 3 measures would “effectively” bring down infection rates and that businesses and workers would pay “a very heavy price”.

Dewsbury MP Mark Eastwood said he was “disappointed” by the announcement but that data showed rapidly increasing infection, hospitalisation and death rates.

He added: “[That] is already having a major impact on our hospital services. Hopefully these restrictions will work effectively and ensure that our local hospitals are not overwhelmed.”

Mr Sheerman said he was “disappointed” by the imposition of new measures but said Kirklees Council had “struck a reasonable deal” to safeguard local businesses.

He added: “The crucial figure is how many people we have coming into our hospitals, and have we got the capacity to deal with a surge this winter?

“Covid is back. It’s horribly resilient. It needs a national policy, a national plan and national leadership to get us out of this and yet the Prime Minister is ducking and diving.

“His policy for dividing up cities and regions has not worked. The Government is going to have to come up with a policy for all parts of the country.”

Reacting to the Government’s proposals, which followed “a significant increase” in infection rates, Cllr Pandor said: “When the Government’s intentions to move West Yorkshire to Tier 3 became clear, myself and other local council leaders immediately pushed for a support package suitable for West Yorkshire residents and communities.

“Initial discussions have secured a package worth £59.3m. This is in addition to the existing business grant arrangements previously announced by the Chancellor.

“This is a major policy change from Government that will not only benefit Kirklees but all councils that enter into Tier 3.

“What has been important to me throughout the discussions has been ensuring that those businesses that have been under restrictions since July 2020 get the financial support they need and I’m pleased to say we achieved that.

“We will continue to have discussions with Government to make sure we can build on this and that the level of local support reflects the needs of Kirklees and the region.”

Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney said: “I welcome the substantial financial package from the Government to support local businesses who’ll be impacted by these new restrictions.”

The Tier 3 restrictions will be in place from 00:01 on Monday, November 2 , with a review after 28 days.