A statement from Leader of Peterborough City Council, John Holdich
Last night’s announcement by the Prime Minister of a further lockdown wasn’t a surprise – we could all see the infection rates across England rising – but I am sure to you all like me, it still came as a shock to hear that we are likely to have to continue in this way until the middle of February.
The majority of people in our fine City have responded magnificently to increasing restrictions, we’ve been in tier 4 since December 20 and weren’t able to mix outside our households over Christmas. I know the last thing any of us wanted to face in the New Year was another lockdown with schools closed, to all but those who are most vulnerable or key worker children, and no prospect of meeting up with friends and loved ones.
But I want to ask you to continue your efforts and even do more, as with this new variant we need to take urgent steps to bring this under control while vaccines are rolled out.
Our infection rates in the City are high, particularly in some central areas and I want to remind you again, please don’t invite people into your home who you don’t live with all the time, don’t go out unless it is essential – and when you do take particular care because of this new variant of the disease is so much easier to catch. Avoid crowded areas, don’t gather together in groups, don’t ignore signs or the advice of our marshals who are out on the streets to help and support you.
We know what we are doing in Peterborough is beginning to making a difference. Our infection rates are now below both the England average and the East of England average, and are increasing much more slowly than other parts of the East – they only increased by 4% in the past week, where in some other nearby areas rates increased by as much as 95%.
We might be back to facing the toughest of restrictions, but Peterborough City Council is committed to continuing to provide essential services for you, including supporting the most vulnerable children and adults across Peterborough, weekly household waste collections and supporting schools and parents with remote learning.
I urge you to stay at home and if you have symptoms, don’t be afraid to get a test. In some areas of the city – where we have very high rates you can even get a test without symptoms now so that we can stamp out this virus. Whilst our health colleagues have started the vaccination programme, it will take time for enough people to have been vaccinated to protect the vulnerable in our community.
I’d like to remind you aren’t alone. There is financial support available for businesses, and individuals affected by the virus. If you aren’t eligible for government funding – there are also locally available funds that we’ve set up as a City. Please contact us to find out more.
We must stay in touch with each other, look out for neighbours and friends, there is support for those who may be lonely or isolated or who need practical support and I would encourage them to phone our Peterborough council support Hub on 01733 747474. Together we will get through this.
Cllr John Holdich, Leader of Peterborough City Council
For more information about the national lockdown, visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home