Hertfordshire Council leader has “grave concerns” about Covid-19 rates in coming weeks

Cllr David Williams spoke at a meeting of Hertfordshire County Council on Tuesday

Thursday, 17th December 2020, 5:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th December 2020, 5:22 pm

Leader of Hertfordshire County Council Cllr David Williams admitted to “quite grave concerns,” after being asked about government plans to relax Covid-19 restrictions over the Christmas period.

Speaking at a meeting of Hertfordshire County Council on Tuesday, December 15, Cllr Williams pointed to the increase in Covid-19 cases in the county in recent weeks.

Before the latest lockdown, on November 5, he reminded councillors the incidence rate across the county was 127 per 100,000 population.

Hertfordshire County Council offices

Cases, he said, had fallen for a time during the lockdown, before starting to rise again.

And by December 12 he said the rate had risen to 223 per 100,000 – with Broxbourne recording a rate of 539.

In light of the increases, Liberal Democrat Cllr Chris White asked the council leader whether he shared the view that plans to relax restrictions over the Christmas period were a ‘mistake’.

In response Cllr Williams said that he did have “some quite grave concerns now about the prospects for the next couple of weeks”.

He referred to the impact the pandemic was now having in the county and to the “grave trajectories” of transmission rates in areas surrounding the county.

He was also asked whether he would make a ‘representation’ to government ministers.

But he said he would have to see ‘how the next few days pan out’ – pointing to an expected announcement on ‘tiers’ that would take all of he English regions into consideration.

He did also highlight discussions he expected to have with the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England and local government ministers in the coming days.