At last week’s Full Council meeting, Cllr Paul Hodgkinson challenged the County Council leader on the binning of Covid restrictions as Covid cases soared, only to be met with “no, no, no” and laughter from Conservative councillors.
In March, Gloucestershire County Council released its “Living with Covid” report. Off the back of this, Cllr Paul Hodgkinson submitted a written question to the Council Leader asking whether he agreed that, with cases on the rise in Gloucestershire and Covid measures all removed by the Government, that “living with Covid” could actually lead to many Gloucestershire residents “dying from Covid.”
Following this up at the Full Council meeting, Cllr Hodgkinson asked the Leader – Against the backdrop of soaring cases across Gloucestershire, this administration has disbanded the Covid Board, stopped the regular release of Covid figures and decided to charge for all testing – would he agree that it’s dangerously irresponsible to do these things, would he like to disassociate himself with those actions and would he like to consider a change of heart?
The Conservative Leader’s response was ‘No, no, no.’
Paul Hodgkinson, Group Leader and Councillor for Bourton-on-the-Water and Northleach, said:
‘This County Council has decided, in cahoots with the irresponsible Johnson Government, to pretend that Covid is over. Yet, in actuality, cases of Covid-19 are soaring in Gloucestershire. I have had covid for the first time this week and it’s a really nasty bug. We all know friends and family who are laid low with it.
‘I understand the desperate want from the public to return to normal life, but the big lie being told by this Government and the County Council leadership is that removing all restrictions and free testing is safe and that the latest variant of the disease is not a threat.
‘Now, upon questioning the Conservative leader about the removal of measures to help us protect each other, I was met with derision and laughter from his party colleagues.”
‘Many vulnerable residents have not been able, for medical reasons, to take the vaccine, and they are now living in fear as the virus is rampantly spreading. The County Council needs to wake up and demand that free testing is made available again at once.”