West Lancashire, and all other boroughs within Lancashire, will move to Tier 3 tomorrow meaning that from midnight tonight, Lancashire will be under the same lockdown restrictions as the Liverpool City Region.
This decision has been forced on Lancashire Leaders, with the threat that if they do not accept the new restrictions now, they will be imposed by Government anyway. The Government have blackmailed Lancashire.
West Lancashire Borough Council Leader Ian Moran said:
“Reluctantly I have been forced to put West Lancashire into Tier 3 for a four-week period. Government have repeatedly failed to manage this crisis and failed the people of West Lancashire.
“Talks have been ongoing for days to secure a financial support package to be able to support our vulnerable and shielding residents and the impact on local businesses, job losses and loss of income for workers.
“As a county, Government offered just £12m in support, while Lancashire Leaders argued that £50m was much closer to what was needed.
“The Government have now offered £30m, but tell us that if we don’t move to Tier 3 now they will impose on us anyway and provide less financial support. The Government have threatened West Lancashire with much stricter closures if we don’t sign up, including the closure of our leisure centres and gyms and possibly hairdressers and beauty salons. I believe if they imposed these measures many would close and never return.
“We have been placed in an impossible situation of deciding between the numbers of lives affected and lost in either scenario. Our COVID numbers are rising day by day and we must do something to address this, but we must protect our local economy, the long term mental health of our workforce and residents along with the risks of poverty that could come through job losses.
“The money we have secured we argue must be provided immediately to enable the council to support our most vulnerable residents, and the businesses and workers directly impacted upon.
“This just shows continued failure by this Government. If Tier 3 was an inevitability, then Boris should have stepped up to the plate and implemented at the same time as Liverpool. Instead, Boris has tip-toed around for days and caused stress and anxiety for our residents and uncertainty for our businesses losing thousands of pounds.
“The sooner Government get a grip of handling this crisis and a clear plan, the better.”
In addition, Universities are to move to online teaching only, except for a minimal number of lessons.
Calls to provide further financial support for employees to bring them up to 80% of wages if forced out of work have been refused by Government.