Councils given powers to implement local lockdowns: CCN response

CCN Latest News, CCN News 2020 | 17 July 2020

The Prime Minister today announced that councils will be given substantive powers to implement local lockdowns if there are major Coronavirus outbreaks in specific areas.

The guidance, published in tandem with the announcement, confirms that upper-tier public health authorities will be leading on measures, working alongside key local partners.

This follows a joint effort between Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council, with the city’s lockdown extending into some of the county’s boundary.

Below, the County Councils Network responds.

Cllr David Williams, chairman of the County Councils Network, said:

“Today’s announcement from the Prime Minister that county authorities will be given substantive powers for local lockdowns is a real vote in confidence for those councils as they will be playing a pivotal role in stopping a second wave of Coronavirus in England.

“As the councils responsible for public health, county authorities are best placed to effectively implement lockdowns but any successful measures will be a joint effort encompassing neighbouring local authorities, district councils, the police, and local health partners. Equally, the effectiveness of local lockdowns will be in part determined by how quickly the localised data will be given to councils to spot trends and outbreaks at street level.

“Whilst we await further clarity on certain matters, such as compensation for affected businesses in a locked down area, the joint working between Leicestershire County Council and Leicester City Council has been a positive blueprint on how a local lockdown can be done. Those councils have announced that restrictions will be easing in some parts of the area as a result.”