Political leaders in Pendle call on government for help to tackle spread of Covid 19 instead of tighter lockdown measures

All three political parties at Pendle Council have united together in asking the government for more resources to tackle Covid-19 in Pendle, rather than a tightening of restrictions for local people.

The new government guidance for Pendle is that from midnight tomorrow, local residents should not socialise with anyone from outside their household.

The guidance means that any social activities indoors and outdoors can only be shared with people that you live with (or are in your 'bubble').

Pendle people will also being asked to avoid using public transport except for essential travel, such as to work, school and college.

Coun.Ahmed (centre) has played an active role in leafletting campaign encouraging people in Pendle to get tested for Covid 19

And the numbers of people who can attend weddings, civil partnerships and funerals should be limited to household members and close family and no more than 20 people in total.

The government will be encouraging local restaurants to halt walk-ins, and only seat people who make reservations in advance, up to a maximum of six people per table.

The stricter measures have been introduced in seven wards including Bradley, Clover Hill, Walverden, Whitefield, Marsden, Southfield and Brierfield,

The new measures, seen as a targeted intervention, have been instigated by the Department of Health and Social Care in a bid to curb the continued spread of coronavirus in certain areas of Pendle.

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Schools will still open and residents of the area affected by the tighter restrictions will still be able to go to work including at Nelson Lomeshaye Industrial Estate. Businesses including restaurants, pubs and childcare including nurseries will remain open.

Pendle ranked fourth in the country for recorded number of cases with 59 new cases and an infection rate of 64.1, down from 94.5.

In the latest data tracking daily cases, there were 17 positive tests in Blackburn with Darwen in one day and 13 in Pendle.

Councillor Mohammed Iqbal, Leader of Pendle Council, who leads the Labour group said: “We are not signed up to extra government restrictions. This is not what Pendle needs right now.

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“In Pendle the number of Covid-19 cases has been coming down and that’s despite the fact that we are doing more testing than other areas in the North West!

“With support from the Pendle Task Force, which includes the NHS, Lancashire County Council and community leaders, testing units have been taken to the heart of communities, including town centres and schools.

“I’d like to thank all the community volunteers who’ve helped.

“We need to see the results of all our efforts before the government considers hitting Pendle with harsher restrictions.

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“What we DO need is extra support from the government, including financial support to ensure the safety messages and rules for Pendle reach everyone.

“And it’s vital that there are more powers for the police and more police officers enforcing the rules in our area."

Councillor David Whipp, Deputy Leader of Pendle Council and leader of the Liberal Democrat group said:

“Our approach has been to ramp up testing across all parts of Pendle since July. My worry is that the new government restrictions could well back-fire and lead to less people getting tested and an increase in Covid-19 cases.

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“So far we have tested over 12,000 people and the message is let’s do it for Pendle - get tested, even if you do not have symptoms.

“It’s free, quick and easy and does not hurt and plays an essential part in reducing Covid-19 cases as those who test positive self-isolate."

How to get tested and the rules for Pendle can be found on Pendle Council’s website:

www.pendle.gov.uk/Covid-19

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Adding his comments Coun. Nadeem Ahmed, leader of the Conservative Group on Pendle Council said: “I’ve taken an active part with other community representatives to knock on doors and urge people to get tested.

“It’s good news that the number of cases is coming down in Pendle, but we are not complacent. The number of people testing positive here is too high.

“We have launched a new campaign to reach all parts of our community, including areas where Covid-19 has been spread by households mixing and within households.”

The Government has stated that the new guidance does not prevent people from shopping, going to work or attending child-care settings including schools which open from September

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But the guidance does mean any social activities indoors and outdoors can only be shared with people that you live with and in your immediate household.