Many in local government welcomed the announcement of the new tier system a few weeks ago, hoping that it would bring simplicity and clarity to councils, residents and businesses subject to restrictions.
But since the announcement was made, the tier system has proved anything but clear. Liverpool City Region was immediately placed into the ‘very high’ tier three with restrictions including the closure of gyms, while venues such as soft play were kept open.
A few days later, Lancashire was also moved into tier three but with gyms remaining open and soft play venues closed, with no explanation for the reversal.
We’ve also seen the Government show complete disdain towards areas who want to protect the health of their residents, but also want to protect their local economies as well.
“For the tier system to work properly, the Government must listen to local leaders and communities”
Politicians from all parties in Greater Manchester spent the best part of a week fighting for the funding needed to save jobs and businesses across the region in the event of moving to tier three restrictions, only to have it imposed on them without the funding needed.
For the tier system to work properly, the Government must listen to local leaders and communities about what they need to make it work, and work constructively with them rather than work with a top-down approach.
Only by doing this will we beat the virus and be able to return to some semblance of normality.