Council Leader responds to new restrictions for Kirklees

Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, says he is seeking urgent answers from Government following last night’s announcement but urges local people to stay safe and follow the new guidance.

Late last night, the government announced new restrictions for 4 million people in the North of England, including everyone in Kirklees. Read more on what they mean for Kirklees.

Councillor Pandor said: “There are many questions to be answered by Government about their announcement last night. The timing of it, the confusion it has caused and the logic behind it all remain unclear.

“I am seeking answers to those questions as a matter of the utmost urgency but my message to residents right now is to please follow this guidance, as I know you will.

“However, I cannot pretend to ignore the feelings thousands of residents in Kirklees will have towards this decision. From the families with children who were looking forward to sharing time in Eid with their loved ones, to those who were looking forward to getting together over a warm weekend with friends and family.

“The timing of this was insensitive, but I also cannot see a clear rationale for this decision now, as our infection rate figures have been coming down over the last few weeks. It feels as though Kirklees has been singled without any reasonable or solid evidence base and many have told me we are being treated totally unfairly.

“We deserve answers and I will hold Government to account on this, because people across Kirklees have made many sacrifices in the past few months and we are now being asked to make more. But if that’s what it takes to save lives, I know that local people will once again step up and do the right thing for their families, friends, their neighbours and community.

“For many people in our community, Eid al-Adha celebrations have now begun. As we expected, Eid will be very different. But it now means people will not be able to visit each other’s homes as part of those celebrations. This will be a shock to many people who have been preparing to celebrate safely and I understand how hard this will be for you and how frustrated you will feel. I am frustrated for everyone in Kirklees who will be affected by this. Our greatest strength in Kirklees is our unity and we will need to draw on that togetherness to get through this quickly and safely.

“I will be talking with Government about how we can make sure these restrictions are temporary and if we continue to see a fall in cases here, I will be arguing strongly for them to be lifted as soon as possible.

“As soon as the Government started to release local data on infections, we took quick and decisive action to get rates down. In fact, over the past week, we’ve seen a significant fall in the rate of infection. It means Kirklees is in a very different position to many of the other authorities named last night and it’s a credit to our incredible residents. If this week’s reduction continues, I’m confident we can get our freedoms back quickly.

“Our biggest strength is our togetherness and we will come through this even stronger. I will continue to update everyone as we know more.”

14 comments

  • Councillor- if the authority has data (and it must have as it targeted specific areas last week) to identify specific areas it should be shared with everyone so that we are better informed . Kirklees is such a vast area generalisations only serve to worry many people unnecessarily.

    • Hi Mel, the government has decided where the restrictions should apply. They have taken an approach that many whole local authority areas should be included. They think that there is a danger that the virus is present in areas beyond the clusters we have seen over previous weeks. Other local authorities have recently seen increases in cases in areas where the virus have previously been low. They think that might also happen in Kirklees. Thanks ^EMT

      • That may be the case but I understand that some authorities ( eg Liverpool) have targeted very specific areas – indeed Kirklees has targeted some specific neighbourhoods – so the information must be available.

  • Barbara and Robert Campbell

    Thank you very much for writing this letter. We, as a non muslim household, are totally in agreement with what you have said and we support you. We look forward to hearing how the government responds to your legitimate queries about our ‘lockdown’.
    Very sincerely
    Barbara and Robert Campbell

  • You are only bothered about Eid. The government has done right to act quickly Damned if they do and damned if they don’t. For once they have acted quickly but still people aren’t happy.

  • I would be very interested to hear the responses you recieve. It just does not add up!

  • Shabir im very glad you are following this up. It seems very insensitive timing and communication for anyone celebrating Eid (I doubt the same approach would have been taken on the eve of Easter or Christmas) .

    Its also potentially stoking devision as some look to blame others for why the lockdown has happened.

    To those who are pointing fingers please look at yourself first and please consider how you would feel if Christmas had been cancelled in this way.

    Shabir I hope you can get answers and ensure decisions like this are made by a diverse an representative group. It doesn’t seem that this one was.

  • Robert Campbell

    My wife has already posted on behalf of both of us but I would like to add that we hope Councillor Shabir Pandor does try to hold the government publicly to account for what is, in effect if not in intention, a racially discriminatory set of measures.

    We applaud your call for unity across all communities in Kirklees.

    Robert and Barbara Campbell

  • To restrict the whole of kirklees is rediculous.if it is necessary close down regions

  • I have a son who has Spinal muscular atrophy, he is paralysed from neck down and cannot do anything by himself. However his mind is perfect. He has now (in theory ) been locked up for the past 5 months in his Care Home which has only had three cases which cleared up fairly quickly thank goodness. He has no underlying health problems but his mind is now being tested badly. not being able to go out or recently having had people visit talking through a window having been stopped since weekend.
    It worries me that no thought has been given to people like him. The press and media seem to think that all people in care homes are old and infirm. I do appreciate why the decisions have been made and we need to keep people safe but please don’t class all people in care homes as not being incapable of trying to have a reasonable quality of life.

  • Christine Pattinson

    I would love to comment but I get stuck by WordPress wantng me to log in or something . Cant do this sooo very frustrating when considering the vital nature of many posts!!!??! Heellppp please

  • Allison Wagstaff

    It’s no different to the timing of the hospitality trade shut down in March immediately before Mother’s Day when there would have been large family gatherings and packed restaurants, what has been done is completely correct in core of the total disregard shown during lockdown of certain members of the community, it was 100% the right thing to do and the only thing they could do to stop large, inconsiderate and selfish gatherings.

    • I agree with everything Alison has said, and also Easter was cancelled due to lockdown when many families would have got togeteher

  • Christine Pattinson

    Agreed Hilary! You make a very valid point. Labelling, so wrong.

    Well, what can one say about the rest of the chaos? No one knows what to do, not even Pandor. It is an unknown quantity. No one knows, not even boris aka Doris! No idea. Lockdown!!! Partial lockdown bla bla bla.we seem to be going round in complete circles, one way then t’other. The truth is that this virus can or could be anywhere. No one knows, thats a problem.

    Many dont take this threat seriously. Cannot single out one community or individuals. How is social distancing policed?

    I may be controversial but the way the lockdown was announced, so late in the day, the timing is questionable. People will be preparing for Eid. The government obviously know this so was the reason for the timing meant to cause unrest within communuties? No idea why they would.

    Also, people will have bought lots of food for celebrations. We know boris is worried about local economies, so let people spend. No point announcing lockdown sooner as the economy would suffer. Who knows?

    Yoyo lockdowns! Just keep lockdown until this virus is gone for good!!! I have not been out for months, I hate it!! But I would rather continue lockdown for the reason stated.

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