Green Party councillors today (Sunday January 3) urged a united approach to tackling the Covid crisis as they backed Acting Mayor Wendy Simon’s call for a national lockdown but urged her to back schools that stay closed.
Green Group Leader Tom Crone said: ‘A new national lockdown supported by mass testing is urgently needed to protect Liverpool from the devastating impact of the new Covid strain as it spreads across the country from the South.
‘We want all schools to be fully open. However, we need to keep children, school staff and the wider community as safe as possible. With new-variant Covid spreading out of control, schools should remain closed to ease pressure on the NHS..
‘We fully support those unions who wish to remind staff of their legal rights not to work in an unsafe environment, and urge the Acting Mayor to do so too.’
Cllr Crone pointed to positive cases almost trebling in Liverpool over Christmas and the New Year to 350 per 100,000. He said that exhausted NHS staff needed the respite of falling case numbers that would be brought about by a national lockdown.
‘We are adding our support to other city leaders demanding the government acts to properly support local businesses and workers through a lockdown.’
Cllr Crone called for a united approach in Liverpool so that everyone recognised the need to act now to protect lives while the vaccine was being rolled out.
‘The council must also show a lead with parents and demand the government provides the resources needed to ensure disadvantaged students get the laptops and internet connectivity they need for home learning.
‘This is an extremely difficult time for parents, teachers and children and young people and so the government must listen carefully to the experts and trust teachers when they say it is not safe. It makes no sense to call for a national lockdown and then tell schools to re-open.
‘This crisis is not going away any time soon. Teachers must be supported to deliver planned, high quality and sustainable learning within an environment which prioritises the health of the community.’
Cllr Crone said that Liverpool had shown how to bring case numbers down before through mass testing, tracing and isolation backed by community action to minimise social contacts and protect the most vulnerable.