Today (17 July) the Prime Minister outlined his plans for the further easing of lockdown in England, including how local lockdowns will be implemented if necessary. Mayor of the Sheffield City Region Dan Jarvis said:
“Throughout this crisis I have been calling for more powers and resources to be given to Metro Mayors and local leaders to effectively manage the situation. Today the Prime Minister announced these powers will be given to our local authorities from tomorrow, without publishing further guidance.
Clarity and clear communication are vital if local leaders are to work together with Government to manage localised outbreaks. I welcome the delegation of more powers, but if local authorities are not fully equipped to implement local restrictions, valuable time could be lost if cases do begin to rise.
There are still questions to be answered on how the implementation of local lockdowns will be funded, and whether businesses asked to close during a localised outbreak will be given additional financial support.
I am also concerned for our public transport operators. During the crisis I have secured £11 million from Government to keep South Yorkshire’s buses and trams running for key workers and essential journeys. As a priority, Government must explore the funding options available to ensure our public transport network survives the crisis.
From August, employers will be given more discretion over where and how their staff work safely. I urge employers to continue to act responsibly, as the majority have during the crisis, to protect their staff, their families and the wider community.
As life begins to resemble some form of new-normality, we must remember that the threat of coronavirus has not gone away. The coronavirus is not affecting all areas of the country equally, with cases falling more quickly in some areas than in others. We must continue to remain vigilant and to follow guidelines to avoid any rise in cases.
Finally, as Mayor I am continuing to focus on how South Yorkshire can build back better after the coronavirus crisis. I have submitted a £1.7billion plan to Government outlining what our region needs to rebuild a stronger, greener and fairer economy and society. The government should work with and through local administrations not just to tackle the immediate health crisis but to renew the economy in the face of the massive disruption coronavirus has caused.”