Senior representatives from Hull held a meeting today with the national Covid-19 Task Force, in response to recent letters to the Health Secretary and Prime Minister from Hull’s MPs and the Leader of Hull City Council, requesting more national assistance and support for Hull reflecting the city’s Covid-19 emergency.
In a joint statement following the meeting, Councillor Stephen Brady, Leader of Hull City Council, Dame Diana Johnson, MP for Hull North, Karl Turner, MP for Hull East, and Emma Hardy, MP for Hull West and Hessle, said:
“We’ve had a positive meeting with the Government and discussions for military support are underway, with a request for assistance with planning and actual ‘feet on the ground’ to support the administration of our targeted lateral flow tests.
“We also made the point that we would be keen to be part of any pilot on mass vaccination, with additional logistical support.
“The issue of flexibilities for local schools to move to key workers and vulnerable children only, which would only be done on a case-by-case basis and if absolutely required, is now fully understood by the Government and it is hoped there will be a positive outcome to this request from the Department for Education.
“An exit strategy for national lockdown is being developed and our comments are being fed in, as it is likely Hull will emerge in Tier 3 or higher after national lockdown ends on Wednesday 2nd December. This assessment will be done nearer the time based on the latest information.
“We were pleased to hear that more support is now being provided to the Council’s Public Health team to assist with their analysis and planning and we requested further support on communications and public messaging around Covid-19.
“A piece of work is already underway in Government around the problems with the social isolation payment and the restrictions on when it can be paid. The authority is supporting this and we have stressed how important it is to ensure there is more flexible access to this critical help.
“In addition, we made the case for extra discretionary financial support for local business after we exit the second lockdown. We also made the case for any additional financial support for Hull City Council if we go into a higher regional lockdown tier and that any payment must recognise and factor in the disadvantages we face as a city. We do not believe a one size fits all sum of money for every area would be the right or equitable thing to do. Hull is a not a city that works from home, we have to go out to work.
“We will reconvene with the Government in a fortnight to review any progress that has been made.”