Concerns about mass gatherings and a lack of social distancing in Ilkley were raised with the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, in a Parliamentary question yesterday (Monday).
Keighley and Ilkley MP, Robbie Moore, has previously raised concerns about the risk to residents posed by people who fail to observe government guidance, as well as littering and public disorder on the banks of the river Wharfe. In his question to the Health Secretary, Mr Moore sought assurance that the government would consider localised lockdowns if the ‘R’ rate of infection rose above 1 as a result of the gatherings.
In response, the Health Secretary stated that he wanted to protect all the residents of Ilkley and would consider locking down parts of the country where there are localised flare-ups of the disease.
Mr Moore said: “The Health Secretary’s response to my question should serve as a warning that if people continue to break the rules they put all the progress residents in Keighley and Ilkley have made at risk. Residents in our constituency have made many sacrifices to help keep themselves, their families and their neighbours safe from Covid-19.
“Despite this, residents have been getting in touch with me to say that some visitors to Ilkley’s riverside have been flouting the rules. This puts people’s safety at risk, and I won’t stand for it, particularly when the community has done so well in bringing the spread of the disease down.
“Hopefully the small minority of people who disregard the rules around social distancing will see the risks they’re causing to everyone else and think more carefully about how they go about things in the future. If they do, we should be able to keep the ‘R’ rate below 1 and avoid a localised lockdown, which would set back all the progress we’ve made towards getting the Keighley and Ilkley constituency moving again.”