Dramatic Late Night Plea To Government!

Cov19 downloadCouncillor Phil Bateman said “Tonight the Leader of our City Council, Cllr Ian Brookfield with the Public Health Director John Denley, jointly wrote to the Secretary of State imploring him not to make the wrong decision for Wolverhampton.

I support that action and the statement that the Leader makes.

Cllr Brookfield sets it out clearly the hard work that is taking place here in the City of Wolverhampton to tackle Covid-19. I thought that it is supported by the strong statement which was evidenced by the West Midlands Police during their recent day of enforcement action in Wolverhampton.

An action that the Police reported showed “strong compliance” across the City.

All of us here on the City Council in Wolverhampton are doing all we can to encourage our citizens to follow the rules, and to be fair there are a huge majority that do so, as the Police report.

Well done Leader for trying to head off the Government from making the ‘wrong decision’. The points you make set out clearly what the wrong decision would do. In short nothing but accelerate job losses and misery. Which would “affect lower paid employees in families already struggling to cope and our hard-pressed hospitality industry.”

Here is the correspondence that the City of Wolverhampton has sent to Government tonight.

“Dear Minister,
As a city, we have worked hard to halt the spread of Covid-19. Back on 22 September we voluntarily asked Government to include Wolverhampton in restrictions implemented in nearby Birmingham and Sandwell so we could cut household-to-household transmission. The reason: local data and epidemiology highlighting that 9-out-of-ten cases in the city were the result of transmission between households. Our approach has always been guided by the evidence.
We believe this is a good example of where a dialogue was established quickly and successfully between national and local government, and an example of where local intelligence was used to support national decision-makers in delivering a balanced, proportionate and locally reinforced message.
We have clearly communicated the measures in place to city residents and believe that our evidence-based approach is something that local people and businesses have taken on board. Our rate per 100,000 is stabilising and indicates positive levels of compliance within the city – indeed West Midlands Police’s recent day of enforcement action in our city also highlighted strong compliance. We therefore strongly believe that the current approach is supported and beginning to show results. It also carefully balances the need to keep people safe, with the objective of economic wellbeing.
On this basis, whilst we acknowledge the need to streamline and simplify the national approach to ‘local’ lockdowns, we strongly disagree with the option of taking a retrograde step back to Tier 1 restrictions (which don’t go far enough) and also to the potential imposition of potentially damaging, additional restriction on households mixing outside and in hospitality settings.
The latter would be extremely damaging to city businesses and would add to the job losses and misery our city has had to endure after being hit hard by Covid. It would particularly affect lower paid employees in families already struggling to cope and our hard-pressed hospitality industry.
We are therefore, urging you to help us keep in place the current Tier 2 ‘lite’ restrictions in our city. This would be evidence-based, sensible and proportionate: evidence-based in that it maintains restrictions on household-to-household transmission, sensible as our messages l remain consistent and clear and proportionate because we will protect our economy and evidence does not indicate spread in these settings. A positive outcome here, will indicate the very best in national/local partnership.

However, if we fail to be consistent and proportionate, we risk disengagement and ‘Covid fatigue’ within our communities. This could be extremely damaging – accelerating the virus’s spread and the number of vulnerable residents in intensive care or worse.
Please work with us to deliver the right outcome for our residents, our businesses and our city.”

Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more