South Yorkshire was offered a "take it or leave it" financial deal with Tier 3, says Sheffield MP

A Sheffield MP says South Yorkshire got a "take it or leave it" standard financial package from the Government as the region was placed into the highest Tier 3 for restrictions.

By Lucy Ashton, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 21st October 2020, 12:30 pm

Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts challenged Health Minister Matt Hanock in the House of Commons on the eve of the announcement that South Yorkshire was entering the "very high" tier level, which was made on Wednesday morning.

As part of the Tier 3 package Government will give £41m to the region with £30million set aside to support businesses and £11m for the county’s four local authorities to support public health measures such as test and trace.

Mr Betts says Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis and the four council leaders had asked for more.

MP Clive Betts launches bus review. Picture: Chris Etchells

"I challenged the Minister in the Commons because the leaders were given a take it or leave it deal.

"I said they had been given the standard package, which also had a cap on it, and the Minister didn't deny that.

"Mayor Dan Jarvis and the four council leaders got all that they could but it was not what they asked for."

Mr Betts said the leaders had lobbied for more support for businesses and individuals - and he warned the region could have the tough restrictions throughout the winter.

He said: "The leaders wanted more help for businesses that are not closed but are struggling. Pubs can stay open to serve meals but they have lost the drinks trade from the groups of friends who can no longer meet up.

"Coach companies can do school trips but have lost business with pensioners' holidays.

"We also wanted more help for people to self-isolate because there are a lot of people who are on below average incomes and who are faced with a desperate choice of buying food or isolating.

"There is no indication of how long we are going to be in Tier 3 for. Other areas which have been in local lockdowns have not come out of it for a long time.

"My personal view is we will be in these tough measures for much of the winter."

Tier 3 restrictions come into force in South Yorkshire at 00.01 on Saturday, October 24, and will be reviewed 28 days’ later.

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