Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees and York could face the toughest lockdown rules in the face of rising coronavirus infection rates.
Yorkshire cities may be in the firing line for Tier 3 rules prohibiting people from socializing indoors or in gardens and forcing pubs and gyms to close.
Yorkshire Council Presidents held talks with government officials over the weekend after the region was spared the toughest rules last week, but one MP said they now seem "inevitable".
The infection rate in Sheffield is up to 440 cases per 100,000 people, which is almost on par with the disaster-stricken Manchester and St Helens on Merseyside, which are already in the third tier. Manchester is expected to tighten the screw at the end of the day after a nearly week-long dead end between local Mayor Andy Burnham and the government
According to the Department of Health, Sheffield's infection rate is just outside the top 10 hardest hit areas in the country, and Leeds and Bradford recorded more than 350 cases per 100,000 people in the week leading up to October 13.
York and Kirklees have slightly lower rates – 260 and 281, respectively – but both are well above the national averages over the same period (168).
Enforcing Tier 3 rules for the five Yorkshire areas could cost them a hefty £ 54.4m bill if they receive the same per person funding as the Liverpool area.
Surrounding Liverpool and Merseyside boroughs received at least £ 44m in extra government money when it went into toughest lockdown to support local businesses and encourage Test and Trace. The total was around £ 27 per person for a total population of around 1.6 million people.
Council presidents are expected to meet in Kirklees today to discuss stricter lockdown rules and West Yorkshire officials will do so this week as well.
Local authorities now play a bigger role in controlling outbreaks in their areas, with the government describing negotiation rather than enforced rules.
This has caused friction in Manchester, where Mayor Andy Burnham has so far rejected the tier three measures proposed by the central government. Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week on live TV urged him to reconsider and accept the restrictions, making it clear that the government would force them if it had to.
The Greater Manchester area is now due to be offered up to £ 100 million to help their businesses cope with the effects of another lockdown.
AREAS WITH THE HIGHEST INFECTION RATES IN ENGLAND
Department of Health data, counting the swab tests performed between October 7th and 13th, shows the following 11 areas have the highest rates of Covid-19 infection:
Rated according to the rate of positive tests per 100,000 people:
- Nottingham – 844.4
- Knowsley, Merseyside – 700
- Liverpool – 670.4
- Burnley, Lancashire – 563.4
- West Lancashire – 485.5
- Pendle, Lancashire – 480.9
- Sefton, Merseyside – 470.7
- Blackburn with Darwen – 452.9
- Rochdale, Gtr Manchester – 448.7
- Manchester – 444.1
- St. Helens, Merseyside – 444.1
- Sheffield – 439.8
- Leeds – 388.1
- Bradford – 352.9
- York – 280.6
- Kirklees – 261
Similar payments to the authorities in Liverpool were around £ 27.34 per capita for moving to Tier 3, followed by an additional £ 4.35 per person in Tier 2.
If the same rules were applied in Yorkshire, the five areas could receive a total of £ 63.1 million, of which £ 54.4 would come from moving to the strictest restrictions.
Sheffield would get the biggest boost at £ 14.1m for half a million residents, followed by £ 12.9m for Leeds, £ 11.9m for Kirklees, £ 9.5m at Bradford and 5, £ 7m in York.
The calculations do not include any money that may have already been given to local areas in support of this Level 2.
Details of stricter rules have not been ironed out for the areas, but Barry Sheerman, Huddersfield MP in the Kirklees area, said he was not optimistic.
He said, "I still think it's inevitable that we have a breaker at half time," reported The Mirror.
And York MP Rachael Maskell said she thought the current Tier Two rules weren't enough to stop the virus.
Leeds was spared the strictest lockdown rules last week when Council officials issued a statement following a meeting with the government on Friday saying, “There was no discussion of moving to a higher alert.
"We share the government's concern that rates are rising in our areas and our top priority is taking the most effective measures to fight the virus, protect people and save lives."
"We have reiterated our call for more resources to implement effective local health interventions to fight the pandemic in our area, including local testing and tracking, community engagement and more support for people to self-isolate."
Officials from across Yorkshire jointly made the statement, adding, “The government asked us to meet with them early next week.
"We see this as an opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of local action, what additional resources are needed to support local teams and companies, and review the latest health data."
Sheffield now has one of the highest rates of infection in England with 439.8 positive coronavirus tests per 100,000 people living in the area.
This is comparable to rates in Pendle, Sefton, Blackburn, Rochdale, Manchester, and St. Helens, all of which have case rates between 444 and 480.
All but Manchester and Rochdale are already in the third tier, and these two are expected to follow suit within days as they quarrel between politicians and Downing Street.
Rates in Leeds (388.1), Bradford (352.9), York (280.6) and Kirklees (261) are lower but have increased sharply over the last month.
Data from Public Health England shows Leeds' infection rate on October 11th was double that of September 27th (170 to 340).
PHE's numbers differ from the Department of Health's numbers – 340 versus 440 for Sheffield – because they make up a different time frame. They are published once a week and are not updated in real time. This makes it a less accurate measure of the current situation and the best data for comparison over time.
Bradfords rose 50 percent in the same two weeks, while York tripled and Kirklees gained around 87 percent.
Yorkshire is warning of the rules as Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham received an ultimatum from government ministers to agree to a third tier lockdown today after days of argument.
The region's Labor Mayor has so far refused to accept the strictest lockdown rules for its residents, arguing that they destroy local businesses and are unfairly imposed in the north of England.
HOW MUCH MONEY COULD YORKSHIRE SUPPORT TIER 3?
Liverpool and the Merseyside suburbs received a total of £ 44 million.
Local authorities received £ 30 million to support local businesses and an additional £ 14 million to encourage testing and tracing in the worst hit areas, the Financial Times reported.
Broken down to an estimated population of 1,608,950 in Liverpool, Knowsley, St Helens, Wirral, Sefton and Halton, the figure is £ 27.34 per person in the population.
According to this metric, Yorkshire areas could get £ 54.4 million if included in the third tier:
Possible tier three funding
But now he's faced with a decision to bring them in on his own terms so that Downing Street locks down the area that includes Manchester City, Oldham, Bolton, Trafford, Bury, Salford, Tameside, Stockport, Rochdale and Wigan.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick warned that the talks would have lasted "too long" and the government could force the issue tomorrow unless the region accepts a funding package to mitigate the effects believed to be one Worth up to £ 100 million.
The threat came after doctors sounded the alarm that Manchester was at risk of running out of hospital beds for COVID.
Bargaining continues with Nottingham and Yorkshire to switch to Tier 3, which could expose seven million people to heightened restrictions.
However, along with the war of words with Mr Burnham and Labor, there is also a risk that the Conservative Party will be torn apart – as local MPs, including 1922 committee chairman Sir Graham Brady, oppose the need for extreme restrictions.
There was a brutal response from Red Wall MPs to Tory WhatsApp groups after Tier One colleagues sent a letter to Mr Burnham asking him to engage with the government's regional approach to other areas. Pain "to spare.
The intervention – which many believe was staged by Downing Street – sparked angry private disputes over an “all-round manhole,” with one MP reportedly nudging another: “They just want a promotion and like to throw colleagues together Bus to get there. & # 39;
In one round of interviews this morning, Mr. Jenrick said, “I think it is very clear that now that we have been discussing this for over a week, this needs to be finalized.
“I think everyone in Greater Manchester would agree.
"So I hope that today or tomorrow we will come to a result one way or another."
But Mr Burnham still signaled defiance today, telling journalists: "It's not about the size of the check, it's about protecting poorly paid workers, the self-employed and companies."
The Liverpool City area received £ 30m for helping local businesses when it entered tier three, along with £ 14m for additional contact tracing capacity and £ 7m for tier two.
Adjusting the overall package for the larger Manchester population would be worth around £ 95 million.
Although Mr Burnham has urged that 80 percent of the vacation be paid for by the government instead of two-thirds, that will be paid centrally and separately from the bailouts.
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