Over the last few months people have been told to go out to dinner, get back to work and send their children to school. This message has now changed considerably, enforced by hefty fines. Labour in Lancashire are calling for clarity amongst the chaos and confusion created by Conservative Covid Regulations following today’s new regulation being announced by government. This is on top of last week’s announcement of the rule of six and Lancashire’s own local lockdowns.
Lancashire County Council’s (LCC) Conservative Administration have only added to this confusion by producing internal Lancashire regulation in the east of the county, which have now gone on to encompass the vast majority of Lancashire last week with very little interactive communication with local people. The Local Resilience Forum, who introduce these rules, covers Lancashire and the two unitary authorities, these rules do not apply in Blackpool despite the fact that the infection rate is going up and is higher than West Lancashire where the regulations do apply. (BBC: Blackpool, 32.3 per 1000,000, trend up – West Lancashire 30.6 per 100,000, trend down)
At today’s Lancashire County Council COVID briefing, Labour called for LCC to produce a definitive guide to the current regulation that apply to local people and these be circulated to councillors, borough and parish councils and across the communities. As previous regulation from government and the county council have failed to provide people with clear guidance.
Unfortunately the Conservative Administration where unable to provide any reassurance that such basic communications would take place. The digital meeting shut down before any further discussion could take place leaving many questions unanswered.
Cllr John Fillis, Lancashire Labour Deputy Leader, said “The vast majority of Lancashire People have gone above and beyond what they have been asked to do when it comes to supporting their communities. Never hiding away when there was work to do, people to help and sacrificing much of what was normal life. But it’s clear there has been a lack of leadership nationally and at county level. With the current Conservative Administration failing to engage in and avoid basic democratic process, like scrutiny, that would of provided local people with the sound information they needed.”
“The shutdown of today’s meeting was typical of the turmoil within county as they put all their efforts into cancelling next May’s elections in their chicken run strategy to cling on to power.”
“We have the technology to create a constant dialog with local people providing them with open and honest information to help them through this COVID Crisis. We have the staff with the capability to reach out right across Lancashire to develop what referred to “organic growth” within communication as well as contacting those without access safely. To prepare and protect the people of Lancashire.”