Leader of Wirral Council, Janette Williamson, said:
“Covid-19 cases are continuing to rise in Wirral and across the rest of the Liverpool City Region and until that is reversed we will face restrictions to limit the spread of the virus.
“Even now as we anticipate the Prime Minister making an announcement myself and other Liverpool City Region leaders remain in close discussions with Whitehall officials and ministers about their plans. The details of what is being proposed, both the new restrictions and additional help for the region, will be crucial to ensure the maximum protection for our economy and we will not stop until we have the best possible outcome. We are also demanding the Government provide evidence to back up the restrictions they want to put in place to help people understand why they believe them to be needed.
“The economies of northern towns and cities are fragile enough and we recognise that it is vital to do everything we can to protect local businesses and jobs. However, in the face of increasing numbers of people with the virus and the pressures now being seen in our hospitals and intensive care wards – doing nothing is not an option.
“As leader of Wirral Council my priorities as we face this next stage in the Covid-19 pandemic are two-fold – protecting the health and lives of the people of Wirral and defending the borough’s businesses and employees from the worst effects of the increased restrictions. We don’t want these new limitations on our freedom but ultimately we have no choice. However, what we as Wirral Council, and the wider Liverpool City Region, can do is seek the maximum help from Whitehall. While we can’t prevent these additional restrictions we can insist the Government provides the financial support to keep our businesses from going under.
“When the Government announces certain businesses must close we need to recognise there is a massive knock-on effect to the rest of the economy. These businesses have a huge network of suppliers and other businesses linked to and dependent on them and they also need help.
“The coming weeks and possibly months are going to be really difficult and I will ensure Wirral Council will be doing everything possible to support our communities and businesses.
“In the meantime we all have to work together to adhere to the restrictions and focus on bringing down the spread of the virus – this is the only way we can be sure to get the restrictions lifted and return to some normality as soon as possible.”