Council leaders ask Government to review Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’s Tier 3 restrictions before Christmas

The leaders of Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Staffordshire County Council have written to the Government urging them to review the Tier 3 restrictions before Christmas.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader Abi Brown and Staffordshire County Council leader Alan White have written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock to press for the Tier 3 ruling to be reviewed on December 16. It is the earliest possible date for a review.

They have also asked for further support to drive down cases.

The letter states: “The city and county have worked extraordinarily hard over the last few weeks to secure a rapid and sustained reduction in cases and have maintained a very high level of local testing – Stoke-on-Trent is the highest in the West Midlands for test rates and we have led the way with lateral flow testing working closely together.

“We have a proven track record of delivery and are clear that we are best placed through our local leadership to manage the balance between public health and economic welfare.

“Our collective aim is now to exit the highest tier as soon as possible, with out target, a successful review after the first 14 days on 16 December. We will stretch every sinew to bring down rates to the required level to enable central Government to release us before Christmas.”

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The council leaders also asked the Government for support to ramp up their targeted rapid testing, support to reduce pressure on the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust and support for the hospitality industry.

They also asked for details of the threshold levels that decide what Tier an area will be placed into.

They added: “We will be taking careful note today of those areas that have been placed in tier 2 and their current rates against the five criteria. It would assist us greatly if we could understand the decision framework and the threshold levels at which tiers are decided; our expectation will be that if we are achieving those rates in a fortnight’s time, we will also be placed into the lowest tier.

“It is essential that we do not keep these measures in place a moment longer than is considered strictly necessary and we enable residents and businesses to enjoy greater freedom as soon as possible.”

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