The Leader of Corby Borough Council, Cllr Tom Beattie, has today written to Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to outline concerns surrounding the disproportionate number of workers that remain at work due to not being able to work from home. As such, the Leader is calling for the Government to review the current guidance and ensure only essential businesses are operating in order to slow the virus and save lives.
Cllr Beattie wrote:
Dear Prime Minister
I hope this letter finds you well.
Whilst it is disappointing we find ourselves in a further national lockdown, given the rising cases of coronavirus in Northamptonshire, as a Council we are fully supportive of the steps taken to protect those most at risk of the virus and ensure that our National Health Service is protected from being overwhelmed by this new variant.
However, I am writing to you because I am extremely concerned about the Government’s stance on allowing non-essential manufacturing facilities to remain open for business and requiring that ‘where people cannot work from home they should continue to travel to their workplace’*.
Corby has a strong manufacturing economy, and consequently is seeing a disproportionate number of our residents being required to continue to go to work, increasing the risk to themselves and families of spreading the coronavirus.
Whilst I appreciate there is an economic interest to keeping the businesses running, I do not consider that argument outweighs the risk to those residents’ lives, when options such as furlough are available and further business support could be made available to those impacted.
I urgently call on the Government to review the current guidance issued in relation to this matter and to strengthen the message that only essential businesses should continue to operate to stop the spread of the virus and save lives.
Councillor Tom Beattie
Leader of the Council
- Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities, and Local Government
- Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer
- Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
- Tom Pursglove MP
*National Lockdown; stay at home guidance, https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home#going-to-work.