Nigel Evans, MP for the Ribble Valley has reacted with dismay to the news that all of Lancashire has again been put into the highest tier of restrictions as the national lockdown ends.
Speaking from Westminster, Nigel said:
“The decision to place the Ribble Valley and South Ribble into Tier 3 is very disappointing. The figures show that infections have been steadily falling and are now much lower than they were a few weeks ago, when the original decision to place our area in Tier 3 was taken”.
“Local leaders had asked the Government to recognise the diverse nature of the county, and I find it ludicrous that every area has been painted with the same brush. While it may be administratively convenient to organise the Tier system on a county basis, it’s not right for the people of the Ribble Valley or Lancashire.”
Continuing, Nigel said:
“We know that rural areas are completely different from more high-density urban areas, and that is reflected in the way that our positive cases have declined in recent weeks. I will be working with MPs from other areas of Lancashire with a low number of cases, so that when the Government reviews the data next we are put into the Tier that more accurately reflects our situation, which is not Tier 3”.
“I am concerned about the effect on the local economy, especially after we have spent the past few weeks in a full national lockdown. The Ribble Valley has a rich stream of hospitality that is being further destabilised by these restrictions. Industry leaders have warned that the new regional lockdown rules will cost more than 150,000 English venues an estimated £7.8bn in lost trade if they are in place throughout December.”
“Despite these setbacks, it is positive that gyms and ‘non-essential’ shops have been allowed to open again. Far from being less important, they are crucial to the livelihoods of millions of people throughout the country.”