Council Leader pushes for £8m Covid support package

Published November 27, 2020 at 16:01

Alyson Barnes leader of Rossendale Council has expressed disappointment at the tier restrictions placed on Rossendale, after the Government announced that the whole of Lancashire was to be placed in the most stringent restrictions when the national lockdown ends on the 2nd December. 

Cllr Barnes said: “The leaders of Lancashire had requested a more targeted approach with areas with lower and falling rates being placed in tier 2 as Liverpool have as well as questioning the unfair treatment of Lancashire with the no specific financial support offered yet for businesses. 

“Infection rates in Rossendale whilst still high have been moving in the right direction.  They have reduced by around 25% in the last month, down now to 313 cases per 100,000 population.  They continue on a declining trend and we would hope to see resident’s hard work rewarded by the level coming in line with the national average soon. But our businesses are still being significantly adversely affected.”  

Tier 3 is “very high alert” tier, which means that socialising is banned indoors and in most outdoor places with people you don’t live with or who are in your bubble; most hospitality, accommodation and entertainment venues will be closed, and people should work from home where they can. 

Shops, leisure centres and gyms, and personal care services such as hairdressers and barbers, will be permitted to re-open. Places of worship can open, but people cannot interact with anyone they don’t live with. 

Cllr Barnes continued: “It’s exceptionally tough for our businesses especially our pubs and restaurants that have to remain closed. We have sought assurance from the Government that more funding support is provided.  We have asked for a £8m financial support package for local businesses, but are yet to hear anything.  

“At the moment it looks like other parts of the country that have experienced the restrictions for just 4 weeks, will receive the same amount of compensation as Lancashire. We’ve been in these restrictions for much longer and the Government is failing to recognise this.  That isn’t fair.   

“Rossendale council recently undertook a large survey to demonstrate to Government the continuing help that is needed by businesses to ensure they are able to survive. 68 percent of the micro and small businesses we surveyed said that they are at risk of collapse if financial support is not continued.  

“It is essential that Government listens to local authorities on this matter and we will continue to put pressure on the Government.” 


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