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Bradford Council says local restrictions should apply to whole district

It appears Ilkley won't be removed from local coronavirus restrictions if they remain in place across the Bradford district.

Last week, the government said local councils in areas with extra restrictions in place would have to work together with MPs to make decisions on whether certain areas could be removed from the blanked Bradford-wide rules.

Proposals to change the local restrictions would be then submitted to the Joint Biodiversity Centre (JBC) Silver meeting, chaired by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), on Wednesday, for a decision at the JBC Gold meeting, chaired by the Health and Social Care Secretary with the CMO, on Thursday.

Additional restrictions have been in place across Bradford district - as well as Calderdale, Kirklees and parts of Greater Manchester and East Lancashire - since 31st July, and are aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19 between households.

Keighley and Ilkley MP Robbie Moore told Rombalds Radio last Friday that he believed the data should be used to drive decisions and enable some areas to be taken out of the restrictions. The latest figures still show no recent cases of coronavirus in Ilkley, Craven and the Worth Valley.

But today Bradford Council has announced that it believes any restrictions in place should apply to the whole district.

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “Having reviewed the data, which shows a decrease in infection rates this week, and consulted widely with partners through the Outbreak Management Board, Group Leaders and the district’s five MPs the Council’s view is that any restrictions which apply should apply to the whole district.

“We wish to move to national restrictions, to reopen gyms and to be effectively supported to ramp up testing and contact tracing and to target deep community engagement in wards of greatest concern.

“The view in the Outbreak Management Board was that restrictions should apply to the whole district in acknowledgement of the high levels of interdependence within the district in terms of travel to work areas; school, college and university catchments; acute and secondary care catchments; and use of various facilities across the district.

“The board also felt there was potential for disproportionate and further confusion, and potential for perceived unfairness, which might lower compliance levels. Geographical differences would be impossible to enforce and would distract attention from core activity of comprehensive local testing and contact tracing.

“Group Leaders agreed that the whole district should revert to national restrictions and that sports facilities should be allowed to reopen. This would allow for all energies to be concentrated on deep targeted engagement with communities on social distancing, hand hygiene and mask wearing, supporting businesses with COVID secure operation, and increasing comprehensive local testing and contact tracing.

“All five MPs expressed their concern about ongoing levels of infection and the need for targeted work and were very clear about what was best for their respective constituencies.

“We will now wait for the Government to consider the local leadership’s view and make its decision about future restrictions in the Bradford district.”

The Outbreak Management Board is made up of all the partners in the district with whom Bradford Council is working on a daily basis to tackle the virus – the Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Foundation Trusts, West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, University of Bradford, Bishop of Bradford, Council for Mosques, Bradford District Voluntary Sector Assembly, Bradford Economic Partnership, trade unions and local councillors.

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