“Councils have been calling for urgent certainty and clarity about what to expect after the national lockdown ends and it is good that the Government has listened and provided this much-needed announcement."
Responding to the COVID-19 Winter Plan announced today, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said”
“Councils have been calling for urgent certainty and clarity about what to expect after the national lockdown ends and it is good that the Government has listened and provided this much-needed announcement.
“We have seen the significant social and economic costs of higher restrictions and local areas need to be told which tier alert level they will go into and how they move between levels as soon as possible. This is vital to help councils prepare and help communities understand and follow the rules in place.
“Driving strong local action will add further pressure to already over-stretched council budgets so we are pleased extra funding will be given to those placed in the highest restrictions.
“On mass testing, councils will need further support on costs, communications and logistics. This should include the option to provide extra incentives for people to come forward for a test and to self-isolate, as well as greater funding for discretionary self-isolation payments.
“Mass testing will inevitably lead to more contact tracing. This makes it even more urgent to upscale successful local contact tracing efforts to plug gaps in the national scheme. It is important that the Government better understands and provides the extra funding needed for councils to undertake the contact tracing they are picking up – as well as what they could do in the future.”