Actions of businesses 'totally irresponsible' - ELDC Leader

The leader of East Lindsey District Council has described the actions of businesses which opened along the coast at the weekend as 'totally irresponsible'.

This picture of the seafront in Skegness was taken on Saturday, March 21 2020.

Coun Craig Leyland. has issued a statement after reports of hundreds of families heading to the coast when the schools closed.

His statement reads:

"On Friday evening the Prime Minster made a very clear statement that the following businesses must close to prevent the spread of Coronavirus:

Leader of East Lindsey District Council Craig Leyland.

- Food and drink venues for consumption on-site, such as restaurants and cafes

- Drinking establishments, including pubs, bars, nightclubs

- Entertainment venues, including cinemas, theatres, concert halls, and bingo halls

- Museums and galleries

Visitors seated outside the Atlantic Fish Bar and Diner in Skegness on Saturday March 21, 2020.

- Spas, wellness centres and massage parlours

- Casinos and betting shops

- All indoor leisure and sports facilities, including gyms

"Over the weekend I’ve seen reports of businesses in the district remaining open and trading as normal that fall into some of these categories. This is completely irresponsible.

"I have always championed the need for our businesses to thrive and passionately promoted East Lindsey as a place to visit. I know businesses employ many people, have bills to pay and were looking forward to a successful start to the season. However, I ask, for the health of our residents, that ALL businesses that fall into these categories follow the Government instruction.

"I am also asking visitors to please heed the Government advice regarding unnecessary journeys. Please postpone your visit to East Lindsey. We will welcome you with open arms once this pandemic is over but now is not the time to be here. And if you are thinking of leaving your primary residence to self-isolate in the district, don’t. The NHS and health infrastructure of the East Lindsey is already over stretched - adding to that would be irresponsible.

"The Prime Minister hopes that by taking the action we are being asked it will both enable the NHS to cope under the significant strain and also reduce the length of time it takes to tackle the virus.

"A package of support for businesses is being made available by Government and we await information on the process and funds so we can begin distribution to those eligible as soon as possible. Working with partner organisations, we will do all we can to provide those affected with the support and information they need and prepare for recovery.

"Please, let’s all follow the advice and tackle this together.

"Be safe."

Skegness Town Council also issued a statement: "Over the weekend it has become apparent that a large number of visitors and some local businesses are not following the Government's advice.

"In normal times Skegness offers everyone a warm welcome. In the current national crisis we are asking visitors to please stay away. Whether you own a caravan on the coast, or are trying to holiday, at the moment the best place for you is at the home where you pay Council Tax and are registered with a doctor.

"Please respect that Skegness does not have the resources and infrastructure to support large numbers of people during an epidemic. By coming here you are placing local people who work for the NHS, public services and those in the food supply chain at risk. These people are already risking their health to keep everyone safe, healthy and fed. You are also risking the lives of the many older people who have chosen to live in Skegness in their retirement. How would you feel if these were your family?

"Local businesses please follow government guidance. Pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants and any business on the government list should be closed. If your business is one that could encourage people to visit Skegness, think very carefully about your community responsibility.

"Many businesses are already taking the right course of action and to these businesses we say thank you.

"To local residents we will be working to help and support the local community. We don't always have the power to do the things you expect of us. We know this is a worrying time for everyone and it is important that we all show respect and support for one another during this difficult time. By working together we can get through this."