Lib Dems demand inquiry into Gloucestershire's handling of Covid-19

As Gloucestershire residents are told to “live with covid,” the Liberal Democrat Group says it’s time to learn lessons from how public bodies responded to the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats are bringing a motion to Full Council on 18 May calling for an inquiry into how the county’s public bodies responded to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The motion, being brought by Cllr Jeremy Hilton and Cllr Lisa Spivey, recognises that the Government expects us now to all “live with covid” – including the withdrawal of nearly all testing services – and therefore declares that the time is right for an inquiry into how the County Council and public health bodies responded to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Since the start of the pandemic, a tragic 1,535 people have had Covid listed on their death certificate – which includes nearly 130 people since the UK Government dropped all Covid restrictions on 24 February.

Proposer of the motion, Cllr Jeremy Hilton said in advance of the meeting:

‘In a fast moving situation, it is unreasonable to expect our public bodies to get everything right.  Yet, during the pandemic, mistakes sadly cost lives.

‘For example, we know that there were numerous times when people were moved from hospital to care homes without testing first – which likely led to outbreaks within these care homes.   By the end of the pandemic, barely a single care home had not seen Covid deaths.  This a long way from the promised “protective ring” that was meant to keep our vulnerable loved ones safe.

‘More than 1,500 people in our county have died from Covid-19.  We owe it to them and their families to learn these lessons now so we can better protect our residents from any possible pandemic that might occur in the future.’

Cllr Lisa Spivey, seconding the motion, added:

‘Previously we have been told that it’s not the right time to discuss how we performed during the pandemic – but since this Government has declared that we must learn to live with covid, indeed, even preventing us from being able to test ourselves for the virus, it is time to learn the lessons from the past two years. 

‘The first months of 2020 were extraordinary, with guidance changing daily and everyone working to the bone.  As such, this motion is not about attributing blame, but about ensuring that we are much better prepared for any future waves of Covid or future pandemics.”

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