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The lifting of the COVID-19 lockdown for Wharfedale Ward

Dear Friends,

You will be aware that on Friday 28th August 2020, the Conservative Government announced the lifting of the COVID-19 lockdown for Wharfedale Ward from Wednesday 2nd September and, thereafter, we will be subject to the same restrictions as for the rest of the country who are not in lockdown.

This was, in no small way, achieved through the efforts of our Conservative MP, Philip Davies, who met with the Labour Leader of Bradford MDC on Tuesday evening in an endeavour to gain our “release” from the unjustifiable lockdown of the Wards in the Shipley Constituency, which have been largely unaffected by the coronavirus.

The meeting included all MPS from the Bradford District ( Labour and Conservative) together with the Leaders of Bradford Council. The Council issued a press release saying that the consensus was that because numbers in the district had come down that Bradford Council would request that the whole district should come out of lockdown.

Lockdown continues in areas with high infection rates.

However, I am pleased to say that the Conservative Secretary of State, Matt Hancock, did not concur and agreed that the lockdown should be targeted at the affected areas which individually have a high numbers.

This not only delights my colleagues and I, but, I am sure, every one of the residents in the Wharfe Valley and, in particular, we residents in the Wharfedale Ward.  It has been particularly aggravating for all residents in the Ward to try to  understand why we were in lockdown, when the Public Health England internet figures record a nil infection rate for Wharfedale.  This is also reflected in many other parts of the District.

The district’s infection rate.

The infection rate for the whole of the District, released by the Council on Thursday, is shown as 42.1 / 100,000 population.  To put this in perspective, the highest infection rate in the country is in the District of ‘Blackburn with Darwen’ and is 54.8 / 100,000.

It will, therefore, be interesting to see what the actual infection rate will be, once the populations of the largely unaffected wards are removed from the calculation for Bradford MDC.  A colleague has calculated that, on the present figures, Bradford will jump ahead as having the highest infection rate in the country per 100,000 of population.

Of course, we hope that the numbers in Bradford and Keighley reduce quickly and that the Conservative Government’s new funding, aimed at supporting Councils to target areas of concern, will make a major difference locally.

Please continue to keep safe and well.

Cllr Gerry Barker.