'Brakes have been released too early on Plan B', says Dewsbury councillor

A Dewsbury councillor feels that the Government has “released the brakes too early” by removing the so-called Plan B restrictions later this week.

By Dominic Brown
Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 7:00 am
Dewsbury East councillor Eric Firth
Dewsbury East councillor Eric Firth

The measures - which include mandatory face coverings in public places, working from home where possible, and Covid passports - will be dropped on Thursday, January 27.

Coun Eric Firth (Labour, Dewsbury East), who is cabinet member for town centres, believes the decision was taken for political reasons rather than on scientific grounds.

He said: "As we cautiously come out of Plan B, and I really do mean cautiously because Covid is still undoubtably still with us, I personally think that I think that this hapless PM has released the brakes too early.

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“In all honesty I think it’s been done in an attempt to save his own skin and not on scientific advice.

“People are still falling ill and dying with this terrible virus.

“In my neighbourhood, children are still being sent home from school after contracting it and adults still becoming ill.

“I would like nothing better than to see the back of this.

“I would like nothing better than to see our towns and villages bustling again, our buses full, people of all ages meeting up with friends for a pint or a perhaps a coffee.

“People going back to work, our local economy thriving.

“It will happen, I’m sure.

“But perhaps for now we should still be careful and a little cautious and I for one will continue wearing a mask where it’s appropriate.”

Rachel Spencer-Henshall, strategic director for public health at Kirklees Council, said health services in the district continue to be under immense pressure.

She said: “Not only are they facing the kind of challenges you would expect in winter, but they are also caring for people with Omicron at the same time as dealing with staff shortages caused by the variant.”

She added: “Even though we are seeing a decrease in infection rates, Covid-19 is still very much with us and still spreading through our communities.

"We do know that data reflects how effective the vaccines and boosters are at saving lives and without the vaccination, we would be looking at very different numbers of hospitalisations and deaths in Kirklees.”