Lincolnshire coronavirus: Council leaders respond to lockdown news

Council leaders have spoken of “disappointment” and “unease” around the second national lockdown.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the latest measures on Saturday. They will begin on Thursday and last until at least December 2.

Lincolnshire County Council leader Martin Hill said it was particularly disappointing in Lincolnshire where “infection rates are low compared to many other areas.”

“Our numbers of positive cases of COVID-19 remain a lot lower than the national average and are currently at 137 per 100,000 compared to the national average of 228,” he said.

Leader of North Kesteven District Council. EMN-200211-201059001Leader of North Kesteven District Council. EMN-200211-201059001
Leader of North Kesteven District Council. EMN-200211-201059001

“But we understand there is a much bleaker picture in other parts of the country – we know the situation can change quickly and we’ll be keeping a close eye on our figures.

“It’s going to be difficult for people seeing their freedoms reduced again and for our businesses to have to close.”

Boston Borough Council leader Councillor Paul Skinner and East Lindsey District Council leader Councillor Craig Leyland both recognised the “unease” about the lockdown.

Councillor Leyland said residents had shown “a fantastic spirit” so far, adding: “I recognise that coming to terms with these new restrictions, after months of a return to something close to normality, will be hard on all of us but I would ask all our residents to ensure they familiarise themselves with the new rules.”

Meanwhile, Councillor Skinner said people had “demonstrated a huge effort”.

“As a council we are very aware of the impact a lockdown can have on our communities, including those who run businesses. It won’t be an easy time, but we must follow the rules,” he said.

North Kesteven District Council Leader Councillor Richard Wright said: “While a second lockdown is something we’ve all worked incredibly hard to avoid, cases have risen and this is the situation we now face together.

“We will continue to share advice and guidance for residents through our channels, including further information from Government as it becomes available.

“Lockdown will significantly impact local businesses and our teams are on hand to offer help, including our Business Advisor for those in need of assistance in understanding the restrictions and our Environmental Health Team for example where there are queries around takeaway and delivery of food. We will share further information for businesses, including any updates on grant funding, as it is made available.

“I’d urge everyone to adhere to lockdown and its restrictions, keep following the guidance and remember to do the basics. The stark reality is that if we don’t, and the infection rate fails to fall to a more manageable level, then it is inevitable that the Government will have to consider either tighter measures or an extended period of lockdown.

“Whilst none of us wishes to put anyone at risk, I’m sure we’d all prefer as short a period of lockdown as possible and be able to see our hospitality and leisure business fully open and look forward to at least some form of Christmas celebration with family and loved ones.”

All the council leaders said their authorities would do all they could to support residents, businesses and communities and to deliver public services.

They urged people to continue to follow the rules including hands, face, space and social distancing.

They said that as soon as financial support details were made available they would be promoting the measures.

In Lincolnshire Household Waste Recycling Centres will still be available through the click and tip service and public spaces such as Lincoln Castle will stay open for people to use for exercise and wellbeing.

Daniel Jaines , Local Democracy Reporting Service