Stick to lockdown rules

As national lockdown three kicks in until at least late February, local authorities are urging residents to abide by the rules in order to reduce the number of Covid-19 cases and protect the NHS.

Wednesday, 6th January 2021, 12:19 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th January 2021, 12:20 pm
Wetherby Town Hall. Picture James Hardisty.

The Government announced on Monday evening that the whole country would go into lockdown, with a stay at home message and children home schooled.

It confirmed on Tuesday that GCSE and A Level examinations would not take place this year, and would work on an alternative system of grading students.

Wetherby Ward Councillor Norma Harrington said she notes that this must have been a difficult decision to make but feels that if everyone follows the rules, the restrictions can be lifted much sooner.

Coun Harrington (Conservative, Wetherby Ward), said: “This is a hard decision to have taken, and not one that will have been made lightly.

“In the circumstances it will be the right one, vaccinations are our way out of this pandemic and we need to protect our communities.

“If everyone abides by the rules, we will be able to get through this quicker and see the restrictions eased much sooner, maybe even in February.

“I would encourage residents to support our local businesses who are doing sterling work in the community, and thank all those who have been volunteering to marshal at vaccination events and within the community support networks.

“If you do need help or support, please call 0113 376 0330 and someone will be able to assist.”

Meanwhile Leeds City Council Shadow Executive Member for Children and Families and Harewood Councillor Ryan Stephenson, recognised the difficult task for parents of home schoolers.

“The next few weeks are going to be difficult for parents balancing home working and home schooling, but it is now clear that it was impossible to keep schools open without proper assessment of the new COVID variant spreading through communities, and trade unions pressuring staff not to return to work,” he said.

“School leaders have worked hard with short notice to put in place remote systems to continue educating pupils online this half term.

“These are not ideal circumstances for educating children, particularly those disadvantaged, but I welcome the Government’s commitment to deliver over 1 million laptops and Wifi devices to those most in need.”

But there have been calls locally and nationally to have teaching and other school staff vaccinated as a priority.

Sir John Townsley, Chief Executive of The GORSE Academies Trust, which runs Boston Spa, said: “It is extraordinary that teachers and other frontline school staff are not being prioritised in the vaccine roll-out programme.

“Ensuring frontline school staff are healthy is essential if we are to keep schools open so children can maintain their education, as well as professionals being able to carry out essential welfare and safeguarding checks on students.

“Prioritising them in the vaccine roll-out is a matter of urgency if we are to expect them to continue to play their crucial role.

“Clearly teachers and teaching assistants should come after the elderly, other vulnerable members of society, care home workers and NHS staff but currently school staff are not mentioned at all as a priority group.

“Ministers’ words of appreciation are not matched by the prioritisation of teachers’ welfare. I urge the Government to look at this again.”

Following the announcement from the Prime Minister, Selby District Council is reassuring residents and businesses that it will continue to support local communities.

Council leader Coun Mark Crane, said: “We’re seeing an alarming rise in cases across the country and that situation is mirrored here in the Selby district.

“We must all remember to follow the advice to wear face coverings, wash our hands and follow social distancing advice.

“Once again we find ourselves in a fast-moving situation but we will continue to do all we can to make sure residents, businesses and communities are supported.

“We’re working hard to respond to the latest changes and will continue to deliver our services in a safe, calm and considered way. This is how we can best support people and businesses in our district.

“Our work to support our community continues both in terms of our behind the scenes work and on the frontline too.

“We are also working hard to ensure businesses understand the latest restrictions and are aware of the new support that is available.

“We’re waiting for detailed guidance from the Government about how many of the new funding and support schemes should be administered and are working hard to get this information to the businesses that need it.

“We continue to share information through our website, by telephone or email and through our social media channels too in order to keep everyone up to date.

“The way our staff, communities and businesses have come together during this pandemic has demonstrated the very best of our district at a really difficult time.

“The vaccine roll-out is a light at the end of this lockdown tunnel and I know we will pull together to get through this difficult time.”

Detailed service information, as well as information about the support for businesses and residents in the district is available on www.selby.gov.uk.

Selby and Tadcaster Leisure Centres and Summit Indoor Adventure are closed. Waste and recycling collections continue as normal.

Under the latest lockdown, pubs are closed but can sell takeaway meals but not drinks, which led to calls for financial help.

The Campaign for Pubs, the national grassroots campaign group representing pubs, publicans and pub-goers has issued an urgent plea to the UK and Scottish Governments to announce urgent packages of support for all UK pubs.

Paul Crossman, Chair of the Campaign for Pub and a licensee, said: “The situation for thousands of pubs across the UK now looks truly dire.

“If the Government does not immediately announce a much-strengthened package of financial grant support for pubs and their suppliers, then the industry faces real catastrophe.

“Communities across the nation will face the prospect of losing their beloved social hubs, and the families that run them will be facing severe and long-lasting hardship.”

The Government announced on Tuesday that grants up to £9,000 would be on offer to the pubs trade.

Selby Neighbourhood Policing Team posted on facebook on Wednesday morning that they are patrolling to address alleged breaches of Lockdown Three regulations.

“We acknowledge that there is strong public feeling on all sides of this topic but it is essential that we all do our bit to prevent the spread of this virus,” stated a spokesman.

“Our communities in the Selby District have been very positive in the main which we do recognise this, so thank you all for your assistance so far.

“Please continue to report any breaches of the regulations by phoning 101. We will work with Selby District Council to make Selby a safer place to live.”