We’re urging people not to hold events that attract a crowd of more than 30

With COVID-19 infection rates in Kirklees still above the national average, the council is asking people not to hold events that are likely to attract crowds of more than 30 people.

In Kirklees, rates of infection are four times higher than the national average and the borough has been identified as an area of concern by Government. This represents not just a threat to people’s health but also puts Kirklees at risk of a local lockdown if rates increase further.

The Council wants to prevent large gatherings from taking place in the borough until rates of COVID-19 infection significantly drop for a sustained period of time and Kirklees is no longer an area of concern. Public health officials believe that large groups of people gathering will increase infections.

Since lockdown started, the council has refused permission for gatherings on its land for any events that are likely to attract a crowd. However, it now wants to work with event organisers to rearrange or cancel any gatherings or events that could attract a crowd of more than 30 people on both public and private land. This has been supported by local partners.

The council is now advising anyone who has organised an event that’s due to take place, or is planning to, to contact them so alternative arrangements can be made to deliver safe events that do not increase rates of infection.

New powers which were introduced by the Government on 24 July 2020, allow councils to take unique local action to control infection rates or outbreaks. These powers allow councils to close premises, cancel events and shut outdoor public spaces as well as other measures. Kirklees Council will look into using these powers to cancel events that could cause a risk if necessary.

Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director of Public Health at Kirklees Council, said: “We understand the disappointment this may cause to local people and event organisers, but this is something we have to do. This will help to not only protect the health of local people, but to also make sure we avoid a local lockdown which would be a much worse position to be in.

“Council areas that have been identified as an area of concern like Kirklees are expected to take additional steps to reduce infections and that’s what we’re doing here.

“People might be wondering why other areas are not taking this stance on events but the situation is not the same here as in many other places and this means we need to be extra vigilant.

“We are urging anyone organising an event to please contact us so we can work with you and offer you support.

“This will help us to avoid a local lockdown and to make sure we don’t have to introduce measures that could be disruptive to people’s lives and livelihoods. We’ve seen some lockdown measures reintroduced in Oldham this week due to a large spike in their infection rates and this is the kind of situation we need to avoid.”

 

What does this mean?

With COVID-19 infection rates in Kirklees still well above the national average, we’re asking people not to hold events that are likely to attract crowds of more than 30 people for the time being.

Since lockdown started, we’ve refused permission for gatherings on council land for any events that are likely to attract a crowd. However, we now want to work with event organisers to rearrange or cancel any gatherings or events that are likely to attract a crowd of more than 30 people on both private and public land.

Why is this being done?

In Kirklees, rates of infection are four times higher than the national average and the borough has been identified as an area of concern by Government.

This represents not just a threat to life but also puts Kirklees at risk of a local lockdown if rates increase further.

Public health officials believe that large groups of people gathering will increase infections so we’re doing this to help save lives and to prevent a local lockdown.

Why isn’t this happening everywhere?

The rates of infection are higher here than in most other places and this means we need to be extra vigilant.

Council areas that have been identified as an area of concern like Kirklees are expected to take additional steps to reduce infections and that’s what we’re doing here.

How long will this be in place for?

This cautious approach will continue in the borough until rates of COVID-19 infection significantly drop for a sustained period of time and Kirklees is no longer an area of concern.

 What kind of events should not go ahead?

Any event that we feel is likely to attract a crowd of more than 30 people. This applies to events on both public and private land.

What about sport matches?

We welcome the return of amateur sport and any matches or training can still go ahead providing the guidance given from Government is followed.

Our advice to local sports teams is to hold matches and training that adhere to national guidance, but to ensure no spectators are present. We put this local guidance in place to help reduce our COVID-19 infections rates.

We understand that for some people taking part in sport that their parents or carers may need to attend with them and our advice is that they social distance from people not from their household.

If you’re an organiser of any sporting activity or event, please contact us if you’d like further advice.

How will this be enforced?

Councils have recently been handed new powers to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 locally. This includes new enforcement powers to cancel any events that pose a risk of infection.

What should I do if I have organised an event that’s due to take place?

Anyone planning to organise an event – or already has – should contact Kirklees Council to see whether alternative arrangements can be made to deliver safe events that do not increase rates of infection.

 

18 comments

  • stephen Martyn Bolt

    For the avoidance of doubt for residents and businesses
    A list or guidance is essential Are places of worship in or out, what about restaurants and bars , Kirklees own parks and play grounds For Sports matches? Rugby union is out then? Youth football where players have parents/carers

  • Excellent decision and every resident should be thankful Kirklees is being so proactive in ensuring everyone adheres to the rules

  • So we cant meet up with our family and have a wedding with more than 30 people but we can go to Goodwood and stand with 5000 people, double standards or what. It does not make sense.

    • Absolutely agree, it is appalling that wedding receptions in a safe and civilised manner cannot happen, council should ask for details of each planned reception/check the size of the outdoor space and make individual decisions. Our reception planned on 3 acres of land cannot happen but we can go to the pub with hundreds of strangers! Such a huge financial loss to couples and the wedding industry

  • Frank Reddington

    I am organizing athletics training at the Princess Mary Stadium in Liversedge. Do I have to count the parents of children in the 30 people that are allowed at the event?

  • You ask that people considering events should contact you for guidance – please can you add a direct contact phone number /email in order to do this. Thank you.

  • Can people living in Kirklees leave Kirklees to meet with one other family outdoors? Max 6 people.

    • Hello, up to 6 people from multiple households can meet in public outside spaces such as parks and also outside areas in cafes, pubs and restaurants. This information can be found on the government website http://www.gov.uk/guidance/north-west-of-england-local-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do#contents ^CP

  • Can two Kirklees residents meet two non-Kirklees residents indoors, not in Kirklees, for a pub meal?
    Can two Kirklees residents meet two non-Kirklees residents outdoors, not in Kirklees, for a pub meal?

  • Pingback: Will you be part of Local Democracy Week 2020? – Kirklees Democracy Commission

  • Hi. Can you post a contact telephone number regarding events advice

  • This advice is misleading as all the rules have changed since it was published – but it still shows as headline news!

  • Can less than 6 people meet to walk together in Kirklees?

    • Hi Susan, in addition to the local restrictions, the Government advises that you should not socialise with people you do not live with unless they are in your support bubble. Kind regards ^CP

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