Coronavirus: Brent Council leader says London should ‘move up a tier’ with restrictions

PUBLISHED: 17:42 13 October 2020 | UPDATED: 17:45 13 October 2020

A person being  tested for covid.  Picture: PA/Wire

A person being tested for covid. Picture: PA/Wire


Brent Council’s leader has welcomed additional Covid-19 funding from the government but is keen to know when £23million already spent will be paid back.

Prime minister Boris Johnson set out a new three-tier system of alert levels for England in an address to the nation on October 12.

Brent is currently on the lowest level meaning that businesses and venues can continue to operate in a coronavirus secure manner and shops and bars continue to close at 10pm.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak who joined Mr Johnson in a live TV debate on Monday said local councils are to get £1.5billion in fresh money to deal with the latest coronavirus restrictions.

But Cllr Muhammed Butt said the measures don’t go far enough. “I welcome the additional funding that has been promised to help us fight this dreadful virus,” he told this paper.

“So far, COVID-19 has cost the council £23 million. Like other councils, we are still waiting to hear how the Government will pay us back.

“My hope is that Brent will get its fair share, as we must continue to support everyone who needs it.”

London mayor Sadiq Khan has said that it is inevitable the capital will pass a “trigger point” to enter the higher Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions in the “next few days”.

He told Sky News London should move as a whole into higher restrictions despite variable rates across the capital.

He said: “Many Londoners work in one borough, live in another borough, study in another borough, go to a restaurant in another borough, so we’re really keen to go as one city.”

Cllr Butt said: “London is in the lowest alert level of the Government’s new three-tiered system. But I support the mayor of London and professor Kevin Fenton, director of public health London, with the message that to reduce infections the capital needs to move up a tier sooner rather than later.

“To stop the spread, everyone must work together across the borough.

“We will continue to promote the latest health advice to residents, make sure businesses are operating safely and within the law and work with our volunteer network and mutual aid groups to support our most vulnerable residents.

“But the council cannot cut coronavirus infections and death rates on its own.

“So I urge you to stay safe and follow the rules, to protect your loved ones and neighbours.”

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