Doncaster mayor in 'work with us' plea to Government on potential Tier 3 talks
Government can force Doncaster into the highest level of Tier 3 Covid-19 restrictions and top figures admitted it was a matter of ‘when not if’ the borough is brought in line with places like Liverpool.
Doncaster’s elected mayor Ros Jones said she hoped it wouldn’t come to this but urged Government to work with South Yorkshire councils in order to come to a proper arrangement on things like funding.
Doncaster on a rolling seven-day average of 231 cases per 100,000 with over 4,000 cases since the pandemic began. There have also been 290 Covid-19 related deaths.
But the mayor revealed Government had not set out clear criteria for any particular area to enter Tier 3 despite requests from South Yorkshire figures.
“We’ve asked Government to give us the criteria (for changing tiers) so we can ensure we monitor it very carefully but we don’t have it,” Mayor Jones said.
“We’ve also asked that should South Yorkshire be moved up into Tier 3 together, one council where case numbers are falling should be able to move down into a less restrictive band of measures.
“If we go into Tier 3, we are pushing for the greatest package - they've announced funding but we are one of the largest areas of deprivation and we could argue the same as any other area.
“If we move up, we need the bigger package of funds. The last package we got was not sufficient to cover all expenditure and on top of that we went through the floods last November which cost us and we didn’t get all sums reimbursed by Government.”
Officials from government departments will be advising South Yorkshire leaders over the coming days.
The mayor said on current projections, it was a case of 'when' and not 'if' the borough is placed in Tier 3 alongside other South Yorkshire areas.
Mayor Jones said Tier 3 did come with compensation for businesses but added the payment of two-thirds of wages was ‘not enough’ as the borough has more jobs on average that pay the minimum wage than other places.
“The financial package they have offered is welcome and it is better than being in Tier 2 but the people who need it the most are those on the ground in minimum wage and low-paid jobs.” Mayor Jones said.