Two Northumberland councillors have demanded a vote in a bid to cease the county being put underneath the identical restrictions as the remainder of the North East.
Since September, the seven native authorities of Northumberland, Newcastle, County Durham, Sunderland, Gateshead, North Tyneside and South Tyneside (the ‘LA7’ group) have acted as one in collectively calling for new powers and restrictions from Government, in a bid to gradual the speedy rise of coronavirus throughout the area.
While they collectively referred to as for the primary ‘native lockdown model’ restrictions that have been imposed within the area, they’ve additionally stood collectively to oppose more durable ‘Tier 3’ guidelines.
But some in Northumberland argue the county ought to break away.
The North East has one week to show decreasing coronavirus charges, or it is doubtless to be thrust into the ‘very excessive’ alert stage underneath the Government’s new three-tier system.
Northumberland at present has the bottom fee of instances within the North East, however the numbers are nonetheless excessive, at 170.6 per 100,000 individuals (550 instances) this week – declining from 183.3 (591 instances) the week earlier than. By distinction, the worst-hit native authority, Newcastle, had a fee of 443.2 per 100,000 this week, with 1342 particular person instances recognized.
In a letter to Nothumberland County Council chief Glen Sanderson on Friday evening, Berwick East county councillor Georgina Hill stated: “The downside is that we have now hooked up ourselves to the LA7 which means that the entire of the North East is being thought of by the Government en bloc.
“This was not a proper resolution made by Northumberland County Council and neither councillors nor residents have been consulted on it.
“We, due to this fact, ask that you just search the views of councillors via an indicative, named vote at a public, on-line assembly subsequent week. This may very well be executed subsequent Thursday however ideally sooner.
“The vote can be to withdraw from the LA7 and foyer for Northumberland individually. I belief that within the train of your delegated and emergency powers, because the chief of NCC, you’d honour this vote and replicate our needs”.
The proposal was backed by Rothbury Councillor Steven Bridgett, who instructed Coun Sanderson: “I’ve had quite a few correspondence from my residents stating that it was the council (and in flip me as an elected member) that referred to as for the present measures and I’ve had to repeatedly say them that the unique resolution taken by this council was not voted on by full council, nor was it scrutinised or debated by members.
“I feel on the very least we want an indicative vote ought to the Government look to take us down the highway of Tier 3 restrictions.”
The council chief defended the choice to be a part of the neighbouring authorities – however prompt the county ought to be seen as a “particular case” if the area was pressured into Tier 3.
Coun Sanderson stated: “Acting on public well being recommendation, and with the well being of residents and guests to Northumberland our prime precedence, I consider that we made the precise resolution then and that it’s nonetheless proper for Northumberland now.
“The recommendation we obtained from public well being specialists was categorical, that due to journey between the county and different components of the area, for work, faculty and leisure, Northumberland wanted to be in the identical zone as the opposite regional authorities.
“We absolutely perceive how troublesome that is for everybody, our households, our companies and for the county as an entire, however the actions we have now all taken have helped to stabilise a quickly escalating scenario.
“I’ve nonetheless made it clear to ministers and officers that ought to Tier 3 be imposed on the LA7 we are going to strongly oppose this for Northumberland, primarily based on our present figures.
“The present restrictions are robust sufficient and I consider that our county ought to be a particular case.
“I’ve made positive that each member has had the chance to be absolutely up to pace with the newest public well being knowledge, and in discussions with councillors from throughout Northumberland have obtained overwhelming assist for our strategy.
“Ultimately selections about which tier we’re in might be made by Government, however well being and wellbeing for the entire of Northumberland is our prime precedence and we are going to at all times abide by what is taken into account to be the most secure choice.”