Also call for 'circuit breaker' saying Tier 2 restrictions not sufficient
October 15, 2020
West London MPs are calling for appropriate support to be given to residents and businesses who will struggle from a new set of coronavirus restrictions.
The government announced on Thursday, 15 October, that Londoners will face tougher restrictions from midnight on Friday, 16 October.
The capital has been moved from a ‘medium’ risk tier to ‘high’ risk tier in the government’s new system to control the virus. This means households will not be allowed to meet others outside of their group indoors. The 10pm curfew continues to apply.
London MPs were briefed on the new measures by the government on Thursday morning, but some are calling for further action.
Labour MPs are pushing for a so-called ‘circuit breaker’ which would be a short national lockdown of two or three weeks to bring rising coronavirus rates under control.
Of the West London boroughs, Ealing is now the worst-affected area in London, with a weekly rate of 144.8 per 100,000 of the population, according to the latest Public Health England data calculated by Press Association. Meanwhile Hounslow stands at 111.2 per 100,000.
Ealing Central and Acton MP, Rupa Huq, said: “London may be going into Tier 2 lockdown, but really it feels like we’re back at square one. The Government has failed on testing, failed to provide clear messaging, and failed to listen to the science – that’s why we’re in the position we’re in today.
“Though I reluctantly support tougher restrictions in order to save lives and protect the NHS, I am not convinced Tier 2 will stem the tide of Covid cases in London, nor is SAGE for that matter.
“The Government should heed the advice of its own experts: a short, sharp national circuit breaker will have the biggest impact on slowing the spread and bringing the R rate down.
“Lives and livelihoods are inextricably linked – so this must come with financial support for businesses and workers.”
Ealing North MP James Murray also said on Twitter it’s “critical” the government does not delay going into a circuit breaker, and that it should “rapidly put in place the support people need to cope.”
Brentford and Isleworth MP Ruth Cadbury. said the restrictions will place a “greater burden” on many residents, families and businesses.
Earlier this year Hounslow Chamber of Commerce revealed the borough had one of the highest rates of furlough in the country. Jobs continue to be heavily hit by the decline of aviation and Heathrow Airport during the pandemic in the borough and West London region more widely.
Previously, Hounslow Council leader Steve Curran told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the authority must “be nimble” in creating a recovery plan for the borough, while uncertainty over new restrictions continues.
He added, “It is something we don’t want to happen, but if it has to happen to save lives, we have to do it.”
Commenting on the latest measures, Ms Cadbury said, “The last seven months have been extremely difficult and the coronavirus has and will continue to have a huge impact on so many areas of our society.
“With these restrictions being announced many important issues remain outstanding for the Government. They need to fix the test and trace system, they need to ensure those isolating are given adequate support especially those who are on low pay and they need to make sure that messaging from the government comes across clearly.
“I will continue to raise these issues and others directly with government ministers and will make sure that the voices and concerns of local residents are heard in Parliament.”
She added, “I continue to believe that a short ‘circuit breaker’ is needed across the country, as advised by the government’s own SAGE advice.”
Anahita Hossein-Pour - Local Democracy Reporter