Tier 3 decision for Chesterfield and Derbyshire 'catastrophic' for pubs
Chesterfield's MP has slammed the decision to keep Derbyshire in the strictest tier of coronavirus restrictions until beyond Christmas.
Toby Perkins says the announcement today by health secretary Matt Hancock will be ‘catastrophic’ for hospitality venues in the area.
The Labour MP also described Mr Hancock's ‘dismissive response’ to a question in the House of Commons debate after the tier announcement as a ‘disgrace’.
Mr Perkins asked if the health secretary realised that if the Government offered a support package to hospitality businesses and wasn’t making changes to school guidance ‘at the last minute’ its claims of personal responsibility would have more credibility.
Mr Hancock replied: “No.”
“This is a catastrophic decision for pubs and the hospitality trade,” Mr Perkins added in a statement.
"The lack of support from Government had placed pubs and restaurants at the risk of collapse, but this decision, which will stop them trading at their busiest time of the year, means many are unlikely to open their doors again.
“Now the decision has been made to leave Derbyshire in Tier 3, the Government must provide a substantial emergency funding package for these businesses, and the businesses that supply the sector, or we are likely to see closures and job losses.
“Many publicans and restaurateurs will feel that the way these tiers have been allocated has been uneven and the support package inadequate. The Health Secretary’s dismissive response to their complaints in Parliament today was a disgrace.”
Councillor Tricia Gilby, Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said she had continued to press the case for Derbyshire to move into Tier Two.
“We feel particularly frustrated on behalf of those local businesses which will still have to keep their doors closed – or offer a restricted service – during what is usually one of the busiest times of the year,” Coun Gilby added.
The Government has published its reasons for Derbyshire remaining in Tier Three, saying that since the national lockdown ended the situation in most parts of the county had ‘deteriorated’ and the overall picture remains ‘concerning’.
There has also been an increase in the number of Covid admissions to local hospitals and the proportion of critical care beds occupied by patients with the virus remains ‘high’.