West Yorkshire Council Leaders’ statement following the Prime Minister’s Press Conference, Saturday 31 October 2020

Following several days of intense discussions with Ministers about the introduction of new restrictions in West Yorkshire, we are frustrated and angry about the government’s timing, handling and communications around the plans for a national lockdown.

​Firstly, for our residents and businesses, we must clear up understandable confusion: the region will now NOT be moving into Tier Three (Very High) measures on Monday as planned; we will remain in Tier Two (High) restrictions, and then follow the national measures from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December.

The residents and businesses of West Yorkshire had only just begun to prepare for Tier Three measures to hit on Monday, and they are now having to change their plans once again.

We have worked hard over the last few days to advocate for the people and businesses of West Yorkshire. It is imperative that Government now honours the financial commitments made to the people and businesses of the region during these discussions in writing again now.

We received verbal assurances this evening that support packages will be provided, but await written confirmation from Government.

We remain extremely concerned about the rising infection rates in the region. The urgency for people to restrict their social interactions is still as real as it was when Tier 3 was announced last week. Our hospitals are under tremendous strain and we would collectively implore everyone to follow the regulations, stay apart, wash your hands and wear your face covering. We must now pull together, comply with the rules and take every action we can to face this challenge as a community and as a nation. We have to do this to beat this virus.