“Dear Chief Operating Officer
It’s been reported from Radio Lancashire that the WLBC Leader Cllr Moran stated, below,
“Reluctantly I have been forced to put West Lancashire into Tier 3 for a four-week period. Government have repeatedly failed to manage this crisis and failed the people of West Lancashire. Talks have been ongoing for days to secure a financial support package to be able to support our vulnerable and shielding residents and the impact on local businesses, job losses and loss of income for workers.
“As a county, Government offered just £12m in support, while Lancashire Leaders argued that £50m was much closer to what was needed. The Government have now offered £30m, but tell us that if we don’t move to Tier 3 now they will impose on us anyway and provide less financial support.
“The Government threatened West Lancashire with much stricter closures if we don’t sign up, including the closure of our leisure centres and gyms and possibly hairdressers and beauty salons. I believe if they imposed these measures many would close and never return.
“We have been placed in an impossible situation of deciding between the numbers of lives affected and lost in either scenario. Our COVID numbers are rising day by day and we must do something to address this, but we must protect our local economy, the long term mental health of our workforce and residents along with the risks of poverty that could come through job losses.
“The money we have secured we argue must be provided immediately to enable the council to support our most vulnerable residents, and the businesses and workers directly impacted upon”.
“You will be aware of WLBC declaring, in its published accounts, over £25million in useable reserves. In what circumstances will WLBC make use of these reserves of public money to help the businesses and the local economy that Cllr Moran mentioned? Or will the local economy stagnate and the poverty appear while the WLBC remains cash rich?”