Shropshire's council leaders united over a cautious approach

Shropshire's council leaders have both backed a 'cautious' approach to the lifting of lockdown restrictions.

They come from opposite sides of the political spectrum but Shropshire Council's Conservative leader Peter Nutting, and Telford & Wrekin Council's Labour leader Shaun Davies have said they want to avoid the need for another lockdown.

Councillor Nutting said: "It seems very sensible, a slow easing of lockdown I think is the best way forward. We certainly do not want to end this and have to start another so caution is the word and I think people will respect that."

He added: "I think we are all looking forward to having a catch up with family or friends and that will be an important milestone."

Councillor Davies said: "Obviously the devil is in the detail and we need to make sure we go through the detail of what's proposed, but I agree with the general approach, in terms of the cautious approach to easing lockdown.

"I think we need to absolutely make sure this is the last lockdown and we cannot make the same mistakes we have made over the last 12 months."

Urgency

Councillor Davies said that testing and vaccination had been key to getting the country into a better position, and that progress needed to continue with the vaccine programme.

He said: "What is clear is that testing and vaccinating are the way out of it. We have seen improvement in testing when it has been delegated to local authorities, but the vaccinations need to ramp up. There has been quite a slowdown here and that needs to be sorted as a matter of urgency."

Councillor Davies said he would also like to have seen vaccinations carried out on school staff over the recent half term period.

He said: "My one slight concern is where schools return without teachers and support staff being vaccinated. There was a missed opportunity during the last half term where we could have had teachers and support staff vaccinated.

"I am also not convinced testing in schools is quite there yet and hopefully over the next two weeks that will be resolved."

Councillor Nutting said that despite agreeing with the cautious approach, he was still mindful of the impact on non-essential retail.

He said: "All of our market towns are suffering and from everyone's point of view we need a way to get back to a normal situation, but that has to be at the right pace."

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