Birmingham news 'Great hope' for Solihull that Tier 3 could be eased in December MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Region's mayor says borough has done "a great job" turning the tide
Breaking News ! West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has offered hope that Solihull's Covid-19 restrictions could be eased in the first review of measures. Earlier today (Monday), the region's most senior politician said that the borough had cause to be optimistic when the government revisited its three-tier system in the middle of next month. Local MPs and senior councillors had expressed frustration at last Thursday's announcement that Solihull would be moved into Tier 3 - the strictest level of controls - alongside neighbouring Coventry and Warwickshire. Ministers have confirmed they will assess every area's ranking on a regular basis, with the first review to take place two weeks after the national lockdown ends. Read More Related Articles Sign up to BirminghamLive's free politics newsletter for daily headlines Read More Related Articles Black Country Live newsletter - daily news direct to your inbox Solihull's cases per 100,000 have fallen to 194, having gone over 300 earlier in the month. Although it is still ahead of the English average (135). Tweeting this morning, Mr Street said that both Solihull and Coventry were nonetheless seeing significant improvement and should look at the December 16 review "with great hope and confidence." In a statement to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), he said: "I have always taken a data-led view on the coronavirus pandemic, and to me the health data clearly suggests that Solihull should be in Tier Two along with Coventry and Warwickshire. Solihull's cases have fallen in November, although the government says a number of criteria are used to decide an area's tier. (Image: Darren Quinton / Birmingham Live) "The borough has done a great job, just like the rest of the West Midlands, in bringing the rate of infection down and limiting the spread of the disease. "I will therefore be pushing for this tiering change, along with the rest of the region if that’s what the data dictates, come December 16.” He has said he will lobbying for all of the region to move down into Tier 2 "as soon as possible", but admitted numbers were higher in the Birmingham and Black Country grouping.
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Other venues, such as hotels and indoor leisure venues, are also unable to open. "There has to be more financial support available whilst we’re in T3 - particularly for those businesses in the hospitality and conference/exhibitions sector. This lobbying campaign is already well underway with government." In a letter to the Chancellor he has called for increased grant support, and looking at extending business rates relief and VAT cuts beyond March. Mr Street's hopes of Solihull being downgraded echo similar comments by council leader Ian Courts last week, who said the chance of a change after 14 days was still there. This is in contrast to the response in neighbouring Birmingham and the Black Country, where Cllr Ian Ward has suggested that it is "very, very unlikely" that rules will be relaxed this side of Christmas.
Opinion over the lifting of lockdown continues to be divided, with the government facing growing unrest from its own backbenchers and claims not enough evidence has been provided to justify the new tier system. In an attempt to ease tensions, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted that the review on December 16 will be "genuine" and that areas like Liverpool had shown that there is a way out of the strictest restrictions. However, others worry that moving to relax rules too quickly could see a repeat of Covid's rapid resurgence in September, when attempts to return to a more normal existence went badly awry. While infections have fallen by around a third during the second lockdown, increases can happen much more quickly. And there would be fears if cases were already snowballing even before the Christmas break, during which the government's own scientific advisors warn that infections could "easily double."
Source = MetiNews.Com