THE three councils covering Cheshire have written to the secretary of State for Health to request additional resources and measures to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cheshire East Council, with Cheshire West and Chester Council and Warrington Borough Council, have worked together on a detailed document setting out what they feel is necessary to bring the outbreak under control.
It sets out the reasoning behind each measure, what is required from government and what additional resources are required.
The document sets out the case for more resources and measures over the next six months for testing, contact tracing, support for vulnerable people and care homes, support for businesses, work to inform and educate the public, enforcement and support to maintain essential public services, such as waste collection and street cleaning while infection rates are rising and staff are at greater risk.
Councillor Sam Corcoran, leader of Cheshire East Council said: “We are trying to work with the government to avoid the need for additional restrictions to be imposed on us.
“People in Warrington are already subject to additional COVID-19 control measures, whereas Cheshire West and Cheshire East are not. However, our requests to the government have been agreed by all three local authorities and are supported by Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership. We are also working closely with Cheshire police, who cover all three boroughs.
“We have repeatedly tried to avoid lockdown and further restrictions and we have focussed our request on measures that, we believe, will put us in the best position to tackle Covid-19 without resorting to a blanket lockdown.
“While we wait for the government response, I would reiterate that there are things we can all do to fight the virus.
“The best way for us all to protect ourselves and each other is to maintain social distancing of two metres where possible, wash our hands more frequently for 20 seconds with soap and water, avoid touching our faces and wearing a face covering when required. Please observe the rule of six and work from home if you are able to do so – this helps make things safer for those who cannot.
“I’d like to thank the people, businesses and other organisations in Cheshire East who have been working so hard to stick to the rules – but now we need to do more to beat Covid-19, and securing this additional support is, I believe, essential.”
Cllr Craig Browne, deputy leader of the council said: “We have worked hard with our neighbours and partner agencies to establish our asks of government and I’d like to thank everyone involved for their commitment and hard work. We will do everything in our power to protect residents, support businesses and beat the virus.
“However, we now need more support from the government and need to work even more closely with partners to see infection rates reduce.”