Liverpool City Region COVID-19 Updates - 2020-07-09

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Liverpool City Region COVID-19 Updates
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This page last updated on 9 July 2020

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 July 2020. Works to the northern section of the Coastal Road, from Weld Road to Shore Road, are expected to be finalised in September 2020. For more information about road closures in Sefton visit:- RoadWorks.Org.  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 basis.

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 Trace figures

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 and surroundings

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 totals.

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.

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