Borough pledges to turn things around and lower COVID-19 restrictions
16 October 2020A rallying call is being issued for action in Cheshire West and Chester to reverse the trend of rising COVID-19 infection rates and bring the borough out of restriction.
Cheshire West and Chester’s COVID-19 Outbreak Board is calling for everyone to play their part in turning the situation around after the borough was classified as ‘high’ in the Government’s new Local COVID-19 Alert System.
The board has issued a joint statement to highlight its position and urge the borough to pull together following the new restrictions.
Cllr Louise Gittins, chair of the board and Leader of the Council, said: “This joint statement is cross-party and cross-sector, supported by the Council and representatives of the NHS, schools, community organisations and business sector.
“We are calling for enhanced government support for the businesses affected by these new restrictions, to save jobs and livelihoods. But we also need to re-double our work to prevent the further spread of this terrible virus, by taking local action.
“Through simple steps like washing your hands regularly, covering your face, keeping your distance from other households, and following the new regulations, we can get out of this situation and get back to the things we love.
“We can all play our part to turn this around.”
The Board meets regularly, with its meetings webcast and open to the public.
The next meeting to review progress in tackling the virus is at 3pm on 20 October.
For more information about the board visit the Council's website.
The statement follows.
A call for action: We Can All Play Our Part to Turn This AroundOur residents, businesses, our community organisations and local services continue to play their part to save lives and livelihoods. We applaud their commitment, resilience and sacrifice in the most challenging of circumstances. We are committed to showcasing these inspiring actions and we will remain positive throughout this crisis.
Despite our best efforts, the weekly number of positive cases in our borough has quadrupled over the past four weeks. This upward trend continues. But there is nothing inevitable about our situation and this trend. If we work together and are determined, we can turn this around. With coordinated local action and the continued support of our communities, enhanced by the right powers, and resources, we believe that we can reverse the current upward trend.
This reinforces the decision we made on 28 September to request further support, additional resources and restrictions from the Government to bring the virus under control.
The Government has now put legal restrictions in place in our area to prevent household mixing indoors. While we have avoided the most significant restrictions, we have been classified as a high alert area. We reluctantly support this change, to help push the virus back and hopefully avoid the need for further restrictions. But we need this to be as short as possible. Our shared goal is to reduce the trend of increasing infections, and ultimately to reverse it. We will then be in a position to free Cheshire West and Chester from these additional restrictions. This approach is the most effective way to protect lives, jobs, businesses and our way of life.
We are taking local accountability and playing our part. Our outbreak management plan is being fully implemented. Over the last few weeks we have:
We know that further regulations will have a significant impact on our local economy, in particular our restaurants, bars, pubs and cultural venues. This also extends to the services that rely heavily on the sector, such as food and drink suppliers, taxi drivers, hotels and other venues. We will do all we can to support these businesses and the people who work in them. We will:
But this is not just about local and national government. Above all we continue to work alongside our communities to play their part to turn this around. Through simple actions we can make a massive difference and lift these restrictions. Personal actions will reduce your risk but also the risk to more vulnerable members of the community.
We ask that you do not mix households, you maintain social distancing and you wash your hands. Remember ‘hands, face, space’. We also ask you to continue to look out for your neighbours, to support your local shops and restaurants and be kind to each other.
Together we can all play our part to turn this around.
Councillor Louise Gittins (Chairman)
Councillor Karen Shore
Councillor Val Armstrong
Councillor Margaret Parker
Councillor Lynn Gibbon
Andrew Lewis (Chief Executive of Cheshire West and Chester Council)
Ian Ashworth (Director of Public Health)
Gary Cliffe (Voluntary Sector Representative)
Lesley Appleton (Health Sector Representative)
Gwydion Rhys (Health Sector Representative)
Eryl Edwards (Business Sector Representative)
Nicola Dunbar (Business Sector Representative)
Rob Pullen (Education Sector Representative)