A COVID-19 update from Council Leader Shabir Pandor

We’re now testing more people than ever in Kirklees, but infection rates have increased over the last seven days and local restrictions remain in place for now – an update from Kirklees Council Leader Councillor Shabir Pandor.

On 30 July, Government announced new restrictions for 4 million people in the North of England, including everyone in Kirklees.

Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has announced today that the current restrictions will remain in place to allow more time for the impact of this ban on indoor gatherings to be felt, and make sure local residents and their loved ones are protected.

Councils under these restrictions are now being invited to work with local MPs to propose lifting or changing rules in areas based on evidence and data.

Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, says he is calling for the Government to lift the restrictions in Kirklees.

Councillor Pandor said: “Over the last seven days 164 people tested positive for COVID-19 in Kirklees – this is an increase of around 18 per cent on the previous week.

“Our numbers have increased over the last three weeks and remain above the national average. This is something we all have to take seriously.

“A positive is that we have significantly stepped up testing, with over 5,000 people in Kirklees now getting tested for COVID-19 each week. It’s an amazing achievement in a short space of time – a month ago, we were only able to do around half that number.

“Some of the increase in our infection rates is because we’re doing so many more tests and we’re finding more cases but it’s also a wakeup call for all of us about how important social distancing and all the other public health advice still is.

“It doesn’t matter where you live in Kirklees, the risk of infection and transmission is still there. Over the past week, almost every council ward recorded at least one case of COVID-19.

“I had strong reservations about how and why Kirklees was placed under extra restrictions alongside many other councils.

“I think it’s time for the government to re-think the restrictions that stop us from meeting our friends and family in a safe and responsible way. We also need all businesses to re-open to get our economy back on its feet.

“If the government do their bit, we need to do ours too. We all need to keep following the rules and keep ourselves – and each other – safe.”

For more information visit Coronavirus help and advice.


  • Why are taxi drivers not obliged to wear face masks but the passenger must. Surely this is a dangerous situation.

  • Hello Richard, you can still travel for work ^CP

  • Hi Dokhan and Annie, I have checked with the team and taxi drivers don’t need to wear face coverings. If they do it is by their own choice. The ask is that passengers wear them ^CP

  • I agree . I have a son in a Care Home. He is paralysed from neck down with Spinal muscular atrophy but has a great and active mind. He has been “locked up”for almost 6 months. He normally would only go out once a week to town or to home matches at Huddersfield Town. Up until a few weeks ago we “the family” had been able to talk to him through a window but that was stopped. His mental state is now going through the roof at not seeing any of his family for so long. It is only a small Care home where early on 3 residents caught covid 19 but all came through very quickly after couple of weeks. He is desperate to see someone from his own family.

  • Richard Bretherick

    Can I travel overseas for work reasons?

  • Hi Carol, in addition to Kirklees wide campaigns reinforcing government guidelines to all residents through our various channels, we are also working directly with communities and residents providing support, guidance and clarity where possible. Examples of this include increased opportunities for people to easily access testing through sites within local communities and staff going into the heart of communities speaking with residents and knocking on doors. Additionally, we are also advising and supporting businesses on implementing COVID-19 secure control measures in line with government guidance. There is also an element of personal responsibility for residents to adhere to the guidelines set out by government particularly in handwashing, social distancing and not having visitors to their homes and gardens, and we will continue to encourage people to adhere to these guidelines. Kind regards ^CP

  • Dokhan Frederick

    Annie was asking if taxi drivers need to wear masks, not the other way around.

    Could you answer please, as i am curious as well.

  • Hi Stuart, 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. Kind regards ^CP

  • Hello Annie, You should wear a face-covering when using taxis or private hire vehicles. A taxi driver or private hire vehicle operator may be entitled to refuse to accept you if you do not wear a face covering. Please see the guidance for taxis and private hire vehicles from the government. I hope this helps ^CP https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#taxis-and-private-hire-vehicles

  • the councillor Pandor says to lift restrictions yet we are told in the next breath there is an increase of cases?? Somebody isn’t doing their sums.

  • Everyone I talk to still doesn’t understand how pubs and restaurants can still be open whilst we are unable to meet family even in our gardens

  • We can’t expect to have the restrictions removed when the infection rate is going up.

  • It is way overdue to reject the central government’s misplaced, heavy handed approach blanketing a whole borough with restrictions. Action and monitoring should be targeted within the localised areas with above average COVID-19 cases. Get the rest of us a modicum of hard-won freedom back. Remember what we are up against- Dithering initially for weeks causing a Deathly late lockdown then Disjointed and Dysfunctional Ineptitude inappropriateness throughout from the Johnson/Cummings/Hancock/Williamson/Jenrick /Gove etc axis. The worst government in living memory….

  • GwendolineBentley

    Where in Kirklees is the virus more prevalent?

  • If there is an increase in cases proving positive, what is the reason behind asking Government to ease restrictions?

  • Please publish the data for the local wards, it must exist as Councillor Pandor commented on it.
    If the general public are informed of the wards with the highest infection rates they could avoid them. Thereby protecting themselves, their families, and the rest of Kirklees.

  • Regrettably the defensive tone of this update misses the mark.
    With 164 infections against an average of 8 we are clearly in trouble. Whilst increasing testing is a positive it is not a ‘fantastic achievement’. A fantastic achievement will be when we get down to 8 and out of additional restrictions.
    So instead of whinging about government what are you personally and the council doing to bring the rate down? What about local test and trace, knocking on doors, working with communities, how many fines have been issued, parties broken up, pubs closed?
    In short what action is being taken by you and Kirklees council? That’s what we want to know.
    Thank you

  • As long as we continue to use this terminology ie ‘Kirklees’ instead of Huddersfield and Dewsbury areas, irrespective of testing, we will be all lumped together. It’s about time we used post codes to avoid this ridiculous ongoing lockdown.

  • Its perhaps because people have not been meeting friends and families in a responsible way that has caused the current increase in Covid-19 cases in Kirklees.

  • Kirklees is such a large area. Can we not specify certain areas, perhaps by postcode?

  • If you are going to look for a more targeted approach why cannot you publish each council wards figure so people who love in that area understand why there is a need for any further lockdown procedures being put in place

  • Andrea Bryden OBE

    My husband and I have been carefully reviewing the data you’re supplying, which incidentally is very informative. Although you say every ward is recording cases, 75% are attributed to specific areas of Dewsbury, Heckmondwike & Batley. I feel that you have taken the easiest route and opted out of making decisions based on facts for fear of the consequences, whatever they may be. Despite letting thousands of your electorate down and have them suffer these restrictions in what is clearly a difficult time for us all, we have followed the rules to the letter of the law since lockdown began. It’s clear to me that you are completely out of touch with your constituents. I have written to my MP asking him to use his influence to change what I believe, as do some of your fellow councillors and our local MPs, to be completely the wrong approach. Impose restrictions on those areas most affected and stop punishing people that are following the rules and aren’t at risk.

  • I don’t understand your reservations, you contradict yourself. These half measures are getting us nowhere, we need to lock down hard to get out of this mess or it will drag on until a cure is found.

  • Why is this statement only now (Friday evening) being circulated, ie after the government has stated that all of Kirklees would remain uder collective punishment?

    It is noticeable that Darwen (with very low infection) has today been released from the restrictions previously imposed upon it simply because it was in the same local authority areas as Blackburn with its much higher cases in some inner areas.

    It would be more helpful if our Council leader ‘followed the science’ and asked the government for just those areas of Kirklees – mainly around Dewsbury – with high infection rates to be placed under restriction and for the rest of the areas, many of which are in and around Huddersfield, to be freed from the restrictions. Please dear Council Leader Pandor consider all your area’s residents!

  • I am a little confused why you are calling to lift restrictions when an increase in cases have been found in Kirklees.

  • I don’t understand asking to lift restrictions if we have an 18% increase in the previous week. We should be keeping restrictions in order to squash the virus so our kids can go safely back to school in September.

  • Complained to the police last week about a shop near me they came out Excellent as many people were flaunting the rules, I.e not wearing masks and too many people in the small shop
    I am 71 this year and not in the best of health and as I told the two white guys who were not wearing masks that I have been doing my best to protect others, but they just thought it was funny.
    Can you please tell me do taxi drivers need to wear masks, as that seems to flaunted also

  • It would appear that it is isolated areas throughout Kirklees that have the higher rates of infection therefore should it not be done by postcode rather than a blanket approach across the whole of Kirklees.

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