It is with a huge amount of regret that I can’t this evening support the Tiering proposals as set out by the Government.
I have been clear from the outset that it is my duty to stand up for the interests of Hazel Grove residents, who have worked incredibly hard to reduce the infection rate in Stockport. Indeed, the infection rates have fallen further since the announcement last week that Stockport will be placed in Tier 3.
I have deep concerns about the restrictions, which are stricter than the regulations that we were under before the National lockdown in November. I cannot justify to the hospitality industry in our area further restrictions when they have worked at pace, and at great expense, to ensure pubs and restaurants are COVID-19 secure. COVID-19 transmission rates in these settings count for just 1% of all infections.
Whilst I welcome additional further support for the hospitality sector, I just hear one clear message when I have spoken to pub landlords, and restaurant owners over the weekend; they just want a chance to trade.
I want to see the Tiering system, which will be in place until February at the earliest, to be based on local borough statistics, and not the Greater Manchester figures that are currently the case. Whilst the review date for Stockport’s tier 3 regulations is set for the 16th December, I fear that we are being lumped in with the rest of Greater Manchester for no clear reason.
I will therefore be voting against the Government this evening.