Lord Porter of Spalding

Wrong tier says leader

South Holland should not be in Tier 3 and doesn’t meet the government’s own criteria, says leader Lord Gary Porter.
The current infection level in this area does not meet the five key tests used to determine tier placement, says a letter sent to Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Lord Porter wants assurances that the district can come out of Tier 3 at the first review, due on December 16.
He said being put in Tier 3 ‘will have a significant, detrimental and long-lasting impact on the health and economic wellbeing of the people of South Holland.’
Lord Porter also makes the point that the area’s economy is fundamental to the country’s food sector.
“Our food safety team have worked exceptionally hard to ensure these continue to be operated at a high safety level. To date, we have not experienced the major and nationally significant outbreaks in these settings and some of our neighbouring authorities have,” he says.
The government’s five step criteria is also targeted by Lord Porter who points out South Holland has the lowest level of cases for all age groups on Lincolnshire at 131.6 per 100,000.
The case rate of the over-60s group, another key indicator, is also down with 96.3 per 100,000, also the lowest in the county.
From November 2 the area had a week-on-week reduction in cases falling from 212.59 to 144.18 per 100,000.
In terms of pressure on the NHS, he said hospital provision per head of population is very low in this area so COVID-19 cases were causing pressure, but it was receding. And a lot of people in the area would use King’s Lynn and Peterborough hospitals – both in Tier 2.
“South Holland district does not fit the criteria to be in Tier 3 restriction,” he said.
He asks for reassurance that the ‘unnecessary’ restrictions are removed before they have an ‘irrevocable impact’ on the district. He also wants ‘every assistance’ given to the community to ensure businesses are able to survive ‘and that we are able to exit Tier 3 at the first review in December.’
Lord Porter was one of a number of council leaders in the county to contact the government.

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