'We must all do our bit to stop virus spreading', say council leaders

North Somerset Council leader Don Davies and deputy leader Mike Bell.

North Somerset Council leader Don Davies and deputy leader Mike Bell. - Credit: Archant

This week marks the end of the national lockdown 2 and we re-emerge into Tier 3 or very high level of restriction.

Given the impacts of this on sectors of our local business community we shall ensure that the support we can give is distributed promptly.

You will have read these tiers are nationally proscribed by Government and take into account Covid-19 infection rates, those rates amongst the 60-plus age group, the proportion of positive test results and hospital capacity.

On most of these measures, as a result of the national lockdown, North Somerset rates are heading in the right direction – down.

As a result, we will pushing hard for a fair and informed review of our tier, which the Government has promised, around December 16. Nobody wants to be in Tier 3 any longer than is necessary. 

However, we can only argue for a lower tier and level of restrictions if we all do our bit to keep numbers low.

Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.

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Wear a face covering in enclosed environments or where you cannot keep apart from people.

Maintain space, including social distancing with those outside your household or bubble.

Try to minimise the number of people you see and meet and the duration of any contact.

If you experience any symptoms, get a test immediately and self-isolate to reduce the risk of spreading to other people. 

As a result of the Government’s recent announcements and the Spending Review, there will be some more money for local councils, but they are assuming that a very significant part of that will have to come via council tax rises from April next year.

Councils have a legal obligation to balance the books and on top of the significant pressures that Covid-19 has meant for our local finances, we also face cost pressures on social care for children and adults and many other services. As ever, there are no easy options. 

Whatever happens, we can only make decisions and achieve progress by working together.

We remain hugely grateful to everyone across our community, our care workers and volunteers, our businesses, our schools, our voluntary groups and our town and parish councils, who together have done and do so much to support North Somerset. Thank you and keep safe. 

North Somerset Council leader Don Davies and deputy leader Mike Bell.

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