Responding to the new Tier 4 restrictions, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“All councils continue to work tirelessly to support communities through this crisis with those affected by new Tier 4 restrictions working at pace to put in place the measures needed to support residents who are vulnerable and local businesses.
“We urge anyone in Tier 4 who shielded in the November lockdown or has subsequently been asked to shield to follow the shielding advice, stay at home and contact your local council if you need support.
“Government grants, distributed to small businesses by councils, have been a lifeline for those struggling and worried about the future. Councils need urgent confirmation about whether more money will be made available in Tier 4 alert level areas for them to support local businesses through one of their most important trading periods. Clarity is also needed on whether councils in other Tier Alert levels have been given enough funding to provide business support grants.
“Driving strong local action and tougher restrictions will add further pressure to already over-stretched council budgets. It remains imperative that the Government meets, in full, all the extra costs councils incur as a result of leading communities through the pandemic and income losses they suffer as a result.
“This new variant of the virus will undoubtedly be causing stress and worry for us all. It is incredibly important that everyone continues to play their part in stopping the spread. This means all of us continuing to follow the guidance, self-isolate if necessary, wear a face covering and wash our hands regularly.”