Kirklees Council

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Coronavirus restrictions in Yorkshire: What we know now

Tighter coronavirus lockdown restrictions will be imposed in parts of West Yorkshire next week while the number of Covid-19 cases in parts of North Yorkshire is now causing concern, it's been confirmed.

Man with mask
Reuters/Carl Recine

Here's a summary of today's developments across Yorkshire:

Government is asked to 'reconsider' Kirklees lockdown

The government has been asked to "reconsider" its decision to impose lockdown restrictions on the whole of the Kirklees district from next week, the council leader says.

Man in mask
Reuters/Toby Melville

From Tuesday, people in all parts of Kirklees - not just those already affected by local lockdowns - will be banned from socialising with people from outside their households or support "bubble" in private homes or gardens.

Some parts of Kirklees have been exempt from restrictions on gatherings which had previously been imposed, but those wards are now also subject to the ban from 22 September, it's been confirmed.

Councillor Shabir Pandor, Kirklees Council leader says: "I know how difficult this news will be to hear. It’s an incredibly tough sacrifice to have to make.

"Since the restrictions were first introduced in July, I have said we will work in partnership with government and have continuously asked for the rationale on how they make these decisions.

"We’re also concerned that frequent changes in restrictions could have a serious impact on the effectiveness of them, but also people’s mental health. A better understanding of how data is interpreted could help us prevent this in the future."

As a result, Mr Pandor says that Kirklees' Outbreak Control Board has now written to the govenrment asking for the most recent restrictions to be reconsidered as well as asking for an explanation of "the rationale for the extra restrictions the whole of Kirklees is now under".

He adds: "We’re looking forward to continuing to work well with government, as we have done throughout the pandemic, so we can keep people safe and get our freedoms back."

BreakingNew coronavirus lockdown measures for West Yorkshire

People in parts of West Yorkshire already affected by local coronavirus lockdown measures will be banned from socialising with people from outside their own households from next week, it's been confirmed.

2m sign
Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Further restrictions are being introduced in West Yorkshire, as well as parts of the North West and the Midlands, in a bid to curb rising infection rates.

The new restrictions in Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale will be in force from Tuesday and will see people banned from socialising with people from outside their own households or support "bubble" in private homes and gardens.

Some wards in those districts had been exempt from restrictions on gatherings introduced at the start of August, but these wards will now also be subject to the ban, it's been confirmed.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock said: "We are seeing cases of coronavirus rise fast in Lancashire, Merseyside, West Yorkshire, Warrington, Halton and Wolverhampton.

"Local leaders in these areas have asked for stronger restrictions to be put in place to protect local people, and we are acting decisively to support them.

"I know these restrictions will make every-day life harder for many, but I know that residents will work together and respect the rules so we can reduce rates of transmission," he added.

Meanwhile, Selby and Scarborough in North Yorkshire are now also considered "areas of concern".

'Significant progress' in Kirklees children's services

The way children and young people are helped and supported in Kirklees has made "significant progress", according to the government.

Town Hall

The Department for Education (DfE) has praised improvements in services for young people in the district after an independent review earlier this year.

Four years ago, education watchdog Ofsted judged Kirklees Children's Services to be "inadequate" and began to closely monitor the action taken.

A re-inspection last year saw services deemed as "requiring improvement".

In a letter to Kirklees Council, the DfE now says while there are some areas needing improvement, "significant progress" has been made.

The DfE adds that officials have every confidence the authority will continue to make improvements in services for children.

Shabir Pandor, leader of Kirklees Council, said: “This is excellent news. This was a priority for all councillors and the council. We are pleased all the hard work of recent years is continuing to make a difference."

Free parking to continue in Kirklees for rest of year

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Motorists and commuters in Kirklees will continue to be able to use 95 municipal car parks for free until the end of the year, it's been confirmed.

Springwood car park, Huddersfield

The scheme, which was due to end on 31 August, has been extended by Kirklees Council as part of its longer term recovery plans as coronavirus restrictions are eased.

Free parking was introduced in June in all council-run car parks and parking spaces in a bid to support businesses following the introduction of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It has now been extended to help support businesses in the run-up to Christmas and during the festive period.

The decision follows feedback from the business community in the borough.

However the authority stresses periods of stay will still be enforced, saying it's important short stay spaces close to shops are available "for those popping in to do some shopping".

Councillor Peter McBride, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said it was “essential” businesses were supported during what he described as the “recovery period”.