West Oxfordshire Green Party calls on the Government to listen to local councils and Public Health experts and take decisive action in the face of increasing COVID-19 cases in rural Oxfordshire
West Oxfordshire Green Party has joined the calls on Department of Health and Social Care to move Oxfordshire to Tier 2 restrictions as cases of COVID-19 in rural areas increase alarmingly. Along with other council leaders and the county’s Director of Public Health, the Conservative leader of Oxfordshire County Council supports a move to Tier 2. However, Conservative MPs including Witney MP Robert Courts have argued against such a move and seem to have been influenced by numbers in Oxford city rather than in the wider county. (Even though, numbers in the city are actually reducing, whereas figures today from the Covid Symptom Study[i] research show numbers in West Oxfordshire are increasing!)
West Oxfordshire Green Party believes that rather than placing more faith in an increasingly poorly performing National Test and Trace system, we should be taking decisive action now. Extending our local track and trace services while moving to Tier 2, may be the best way to avoid eventually moving to Tier 3.
Witney Town Councillor Andrew Prosser and Charlbury Town Councillor Liz Reason made a joint statement saying: “We should do everything we can to avoid ending up in tier 3 with its severe restrictions on businesses and Oxfordshire’s residents. Time is of the essence, moving to Tier 2 now may be the only way we can prevent the rapid spread of this disease and avoid businesses and citizens struggling in Tier 3. The longer this Government sets itself against local Government leaders the more our citizens and businesses will suffer.”
[i]The COVID Symptom Study App was developed and is managed by health technology company ZOE, with the research using data from the app being undertaken by academics at King's College London. The app has now been downloaded by over 3.5 million people in the UK and has recruited over 800,000 citizen scientists to its Vaccine and Trial Registry. https://covid.joinzoe.com/