MP calls for south Lincolnshire to be in Tier 2
Gareth Davies MP, whose constituency covers some villages in the Sleaford area, voted in favour of the new three-tier system, but he disagrees with the ranking for his constituency: “In the south of Lincolnshire we all know that we very rarely travel to the north where they are having extremely high rates of infection, so it is only right that the government look at south Lincolnshire on its own merits.”
South Holland and South Kesteven are the only two districts in Greater Lincolnshire with lower infection rates than the national average, but are still in tier 3 restrictions.
Gareth Davies added: “I was profoundly disappointed to see this given that our rates of infection were more in line with a tier 2 classification.”
“We have been assigned to tier 3 because of the extremely high rates of infection in the north of the county, specifically East Lindsey and Boston.”
On December 2, South Holland had the lowest infection rate in Greater Lincolnshire, with 121 per 100,000 of the population. It ranked 208th in the country out of 380 authorities.
South Kesteven was the second lowest district in Greater Lincolnshire with an infection rate of 148.1 on December 2 and ranked 151th.
Both districts are below the national average of 157.6, and infection rates are reducing each day.
Gareth Davies has worked with Sir John Hayes, MP for South Holland and the Deepings, to call for a review of their specific tier on a more localised basis, so that the movement patterns of south Lincolnshire residents are better reflected.
Together with Sir Edward Leigh MP, County Council Leader Martin Hill and other local leaders, they wrote to the Prime Minister to call for a district-based approach to tiering.
Matt Hancock replied: “We will formally review the data and tier allocations for all area across England on December 16 and every two weeks thereafter, and I can assure you that we will again assess each area individually, including areas within Lincolnshire such as south Lincolnshire, on its own merits based on the five criteria we set out in the Winter Plan.”
He added the government will take “into account the very challenging impact of tier 3 measures.”
However, he added that through experience they had found that such areas with lower infection rates often ended up catching up with neighbouring areas with higher rates and even overtaking them.