LGA reacts as England's
gyms and leisure centres are set to reopen soon
THE Local Government
Associationís Culture (LGA) who represents more than 330
Councils of all types across England have responded to the
announcement that gyms and leisure centres will be able to
reopen, from 25 July 2020, in England. Cllr Gerald Vernon
Jackson, Chair of the LGA, Tourism and Sport Board, said:-
"It is great news that gyms and leisure centres can reopen,
and many people will be hugely excited about being able to
safely visit them again. Being active is crucial to the fight
against obesity, inactivity and poor mental health, and we know
that the lockdown has increased physical inactivity and
unhealthy eating habits for some families. Many leisure
providers are in serious financial jeopardy as a result of
months of lockdown and the expensive cost of maintaining closed
facilities, particularly those with swimming pools. Although
able to access the Job Retention Scheme they have had very
little other financial support and a financial support package
is needed to stabilise them. Having had to furlough staff and
faced with uncertainty about when they might be able to reopen,
providers have been unable to prepare. This means it may take a
bit of time to reopen some facilities in line with Government
guidance and to ensure the right measures in place to
maintaining social distancing and safe use. They will no doubt
move as fast as they can to reopen. Residents should keep an eye
on council websites and social media channels to find out when
their local leisure facilities are open.Ē
Essential works on the Coastal Road in Southport are continuing to help improve access for both cyclists and pedestrians
THE works are part of the Southport East West Cycle Link
improvement scheme thanks to funding from the Liverpool City
Region and primarily compromises of the widening of cycle track
between Weld Road roundabout and the bridge at Pinfold Lane.
Contractors are carrying the work out in stages to ensure
minimal disruption to traffic and the road will be reopened in
sections, beginning with the Shore Road to Pinfold Lane in mid
Works to the northern section of the Coastal Road, from Weld
Road to Shore Road, are expected to be finalised in September
For more information about road closures in Sefton visit:-
Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for
Locality Services, said:- "Work on the scheme was due to begin in
April but unfortunately the start date was delayed due to the
COVID-19 pandemic, but we are confident of completing the scheme
in earnest by September 2020. We have been delighted that during these works we have been
able to maintain access for cyclists and pedestrians for
socially distanced exercise and we will continue to update our
communities as the works near completion."
The Government has turned
its back on thousands of local community pubs
THE Campaign for Pubs,
the national grassroots campaign to promote, support and protect
pubs, has responded to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunakís
announcement in the summer statement that VAT will be cut to 5%
for 6 months for food and accommodation and offer a midweek food
voucher scheme, with no support at all of thousands of:-
'wet led' community pubs up and down the country.
The Campaign for Pubs have been campaigning for a 12 month VAT
cut for all hospitality, so that all the nation's pubs would be
assisted through the current crisis. With trade restricted and
uncertain due to the Covid-19 crisis, all pubs are facing
reduced trade for months to come and many of the worst hit are
smaller, community locals that don't serve food; the very pubs
excluded from any Government support.
The Chancellor also announced, on 8 July 2020, about the midweek
food voucher system, is something that again does nothing to
support wet led pubs and will give a big advantage to pub chains
that already serve food Monday to Wednesday, something many
independent pubs simply canít do. In the eyes of the Campaign
for Pubs, this announcements will be a boost to pub chains and
large companies operating pub restaurant chains, but is another
body blow for many independent pubs and licensees, already
facing the double whammy of ongoing fixed costs with reduced
trade and profit.
The announcement also shows that the Government is listening
only to the voice of those representing pub and restaurant
chains and the large pubcos and giant breweries and not to
actual pubs and publicans, the very people who are having to
deal with the Covid-19 crisis in their pubs on a day to day
The Campaign for Pubs exists to provide a real voice for pubs,
bringing together publicans, customers and brewers and all who
value our pub culture. The Campaign for Pubs has been formed
precisely due to the lack of a real voice for pubs and publicans
and to campaign for the needs of pubs and publicans, not the
large property companies, big brewers and pub chains. The
Campaign for Pubs campaigns for a better, freer and fairer, more
sustainable pub sector as laid out in the mission statement.
Commenting, Campaign Director of the Campaign for Pubs, Greg
Mulholland said:- "The Chancellorís announcement is very
mixed news, what was needed was what the Campaign for Pubs have
been calling for, a 5% VAT cut for all hospitality. Instead
Rishi Sunak has decided to help only pubs that do food and
overnight accommodation and has done nothing at all to help
thousands of beloved community locals up and down the country,
which is unfair. The Government appears to be turning its back
on the traditional community local, many canít trade profitably
due to Government restrictions and yet are being offered no
support by the Government. We urge the Chancellor to think
again, or we will see the closures of many valued pubs,
including in his own constituency. So we welcome the help for
pubs serve food and offer bed and breakfast, but are dismayed at
the lack of any support for all other pubs and we will now be
lobbying the Government to help all pubs through the ongoing
crisis, not just some of them."
Dawn Hopkins, Vice-Chair of the Campaign for Pubs and licensee
of the Rose, Norwich (a wet led pub) said:- "There are
thousands of community pubs up and down the country who are
dismayed at todayís announcement. Wet led pubs like mine, with
restricted and reduced trade due to Government rules, have been
given no support from the Government. In truth the Chancellor
hasnít tried to help pubs, heís just decided to help tourism and
whilst that is important, so are pubs in other areas and so is
community and today the Chancellor has turned his back on many
community locals. The message is that wet led community pubs
donít matter and that is deeply upsetting when weíve been
working so hard to try to survive this crisis. We urge the
Government to reconsider or many of our most beloved pubs will
close their doors over the coming months."
Commenting, Paul Crossman, Chair of the Campaign for Pubs and
licensee of 3 pubs in York said:- "The measures announced
today will be of little benefit to thousands of small business
wet only pubs operating at the heart of their communities. Many
small community pubs still cannot even open yet, and demand for
those that can remains low in many areas as public confidence is
seemingly yet to return. Wet led community pubs serve a vital
cultural and economic purpose and our communities and local
independent supply chains desperately need them to survive for
the future. Todayís announcements on VAT and midweek food
vouchers will mainly provide a boost for pub chains and large
companies operating pub restaurants, but will come as another
blow for many independent pubs and licensees, who are already
facing a calamitous double whammy of ongoing fixed costs,
including rent, with reduced trade and profit. The midweek
voucher scheme feels like an expensive, tokenistic gimmick. This
money could and should have been invested in meaningful support
for all pubs. It seems clear that once again the Government has
listened only to the trade associations of large pub chains and
not the real voice of grass-roots pubs and publicans, and this
must change or many proper pubs will not survive."
LGA responds to Test and
RESPONDING to the
publication of the NHS Test and Trace service figures for the
period 25 June 2020 to 1 July 2020, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman
of the Local Government Associationís Community Wellbeing Board,
said:- "Everybody has to play their part in helping to get
this pandemic under control. It is good that the NHS Test and
Trace system is reaching the majority of those who tested
positive and who are passing on details of their close contacts,
but it is still concerning that nearly 20% of positive cases
cannot be found. Councils remain ready to work with the
Government so they can use their experience and expertise to
help contact and trace these people. Those testing positive for
the virus have a responsibility to help halt its transmission
and protect those most at risk, including older people and those
who are most vulnerable. More information is being shared with
councils but we also need to see improvements to the individual
case data, including making the data available daily, adding
UPRNs (property reference numbers), and providing more
information about workplaces. The public and those working on
the frontline need to have a complete picture of the impact this
virus has had in our neighbourhoods and communities. With the
right powers, flexibilities, data and long-term funding,
councils can help to manage potential outbreaks and prevent the
spread of infection."
Total UK cases COVID-19 cases - update for Liverpool City Region
THE total number of UK
Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections that have been laboratory
confirmed, within the UK, has risen by 642 cases and the total
number now stand at 287,621, that includes tests carried out by
commercial partners which are not included in the 4 National
Daily number of COVID-19 associated UK fatalities added to the
total, was sadly reported to be 85 according to the Department
of Health. The total number of deaths of people who have had a
positive test result confirmed by a Public Health or NHS
laboratory is 44,602.
In England, there are a total of 247,609 confirmed cases. North
West - total of 43,107 confirmed cases. The number of laboratory
confirmed cases within the following Local Authorities, in and
around the Liverpool City Region are as follows:-
► Liverpool, 2,451 confirmed cases.
► Sefton, 1,507 confirmed cases.
► Wirral, 2,029 confirmed cases.
► St. Helens, 1,197 confirmed cases
► Halton, 690 confirmed cases.
► Blackpool, 1,021 confirmed cases.
► Blackburn with Darwen, 1,026 confirmed cases.
► Bolton, 1,835 confirmed cases.
► Bury, 1,280 confirmed cases.
► Cheshire West and Chester, 1,956 confirmed cases.
► Cheshire East, 2,194 confirmed cases.
► Lancashire, 6,692 confirmed cases.
► Manchester, 2,915 confirmed cases.
► Oldham, 1,863 confirmed cases.
► Rochdale, 1,603 confirmed cases.
► Stockport, 1,631 confirmed cases.
► Tameside, 1,520 confirmed cases.
► Trafford, 1,252 confirmed cases.
► Wigan, 2,125 confirmed cases.