The Lib Dems are calling for the Focused Mass Testing of care homes, schools, students, high risk workplaces and their families to bring people together safely over Christmas. With fears growing around South Yorkshire’s restrictions over the festive period, being one of the hardest hit areas by the COVID-19 outbreak, these leaders are mounting their frustrations with their local Councils for their “lack of initiative and proactivity” on testing.
We're calling on Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley Councils to bring mass testing to South Yorkshire so we can:
✅ Let people see their families in care homes;
✅ Get people back to work, school and university;
✅ Reunite families for Christmas.
Dr Adam Carter, Rotherham Lib Dem Council leader, said “as an NHS doctor, I know first-hand the agony people have had from not seeing their loved ones, particularly when relatives are in care homes. We, like many people in South Yorkshire, want to make sure that we keep our people safe, especially across the festive season. South Yorkshire is one of the hardest hit regions by the COVID-19 outbreak and it is incredibly disappointing and outrageous that Rotherham, Sheffield and Barnsley have not got these tests.”
“The fact that Rotherham has been without a Director of Public Health in the middle of a pandemic for months just shows the council’s poor leadership and lack of direction.”
Shaffaq Mohammed, leader of the Lib Dems on Sheffield City Council, said: “our Council can’t keep waiting for actions to be taken and imposed on them, rather than showing real leadership. While other councils are moving forward, Labour council leaders in our area have been found wanting whilst local people increasingly worry about whether they be able to see their loved ones over the festive period.”
“They are lacking initiative and proactivity whereas other areas are making critical decisions in the run up to Christmas,” he added.
“Christmas and the festive period is a time special to many; particularly after this year of distance we are all excited and hopeful to be able to gather with our loved ones,” Hannah Kitching, leader of the Lib Dems on Barnsley Council said, adding, “I want the Government and local councils to work together and do as much as possible so people can be with each other this Christmas wherever possible. That includes doing what Doncaster has done and use the tests made available to local councils.”