Rival politicians unite to call for "local lockdown lifeline" as Sheffield City Region heads towards Tier 3

"We need a local lockdown lifeline to support people and businesses across South Yorkshire"

By Lucy Ashton, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 20th October 2020, 12:30 pm

That is the message from both Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians to the Government as the region, which is currently in Tier 2, veers towards Tier 3 restrictions.

Tier 3 restrictions, the “very high” alert level, will mean, at a minimum, the closure of pubs and bars and a ban on social mixing indoors and in private gardens.

Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis and the four council leaders Sir Steve Houghton, Mayor Ros Jones, Coun Chris Read and Coun Julie Dore have written to the Prime Minister.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis (right) and the four council leaders Sir Steve Houghton (top middle), Mayor Ros Jones (top left), Coun Chris Read (bottom middle) and Coun Julie Dore (bottom left) have written to the Prime Minister over the Tier 3 restrictions

Meanwhile, Sheffield Lib Dem Leader Coun Shaffaq Mohammed and Lord Paul Scriven have also signed an open letter from their party.

Labour's letter says there needs to be support for the region's economy ahead of additional local restrictions or there will be potentially dire consequences for lives, jobs and businesses.

The letter says: "Before additional restrictions come into force, we are calling for a local lockdown lifeline.

"This means ensuring we have the resources, powers and investment we need to protect jobs and the economy in both the short and long term. This will also ensure we have a clear route out of local restrictions, so we can get on with the job of rebuilding our economy and society."

The Lib Dems' letter says: "Millions of people across the north have been living under local restrictions for months but infection rates are still rising.

"Clearly, with case numbers and hospital admissions rising rapidly, urgent action is needed. We are calling on the government to act rapidly and constructively with local political leaders who are grounded in communities."

Labour has called for an "immediate injection of funding and cast-iron guarantee" that shortfalls will be underwritten.

It wants a targeted support package for businesses in the hospitality, leisure and recreation sectors, including flexible grants administered through local councils and further business rates concessions.

Both Labour and the Lib Dems say the furlough scheme should be extended and there should be support for people self isolating or who have had their hours cut with restrictions.

The Lib Dems say people living in care should be kept safe while children and students need support to continue their education.

Thank you to all who support local journalism with a digital or print subscription to The Star. The events of 2020 mean trusted, local journalism is more reliant than ever on your support. We couldn't do it without you. Subscribe here www.thestar.co.uk/subscriptions so we can keep campaigning on your behalf. Stay safe.