Your Local Update 29/11/20

My roundup of local news, Covid-19 information and Councillor work this week. There are several links to more detailed information from the Government, the Council and others within the post. In this update you will find:


[1] Covid-19 Cases, Mortality, Infection Rate and Outbreak Management

[2] Covid-19 Restrictions

[3] Covid-19 Christmas Bubble

[4] Covid-19 Lateral Flow Tests

[5] Covid-19 Local Contact Tracing

[6] Covid-19 Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV)

[7] Covid-19 Vaccination Planning

[8] Covid-19 Business Grant Funding

[9] Riverside Area Theft From Motor Vehicles

[10] New Premises License Application In Hunslet

[11] In The News

[12] MICE Grants

[13] Meetings and Visits

[14] Upcoming Community Events and Meetings


Previous updates can be found here: Local News Summary. Thank you for reading in advance. Just to mention this website is not paid for by the Council. Please consider making a donation now to support it.

[1] Covid-19 Cases, Mortality, Infection Rate and Outbreak Management: Down to the efforts and sacrifices everyone across the city is making, our infection and positivity rates are reducing, now at 245.6/100,000 and 10.7% respectively.


The ward pattern is that we have just one ward with a rate over 500, and six that are between 400 and 500. Most wards have rates between 200 and 400 and one under 400.


But NHS continues to be under significant pressure, with more Covid patients in Leeds hospitals than in April, and there are concerns as we head to the real winter pressures of January and February. Regrettably, the number of people dying from Covid has risen in recent weeks.


The Council continues to push government for things that will help the city, such as more regular a review of the Tiers in the short term whilst rates are reducing quickly and additional support for those sectors most affected e.g. hospitality.


As of 25/11/20, 940 have died due to Covid-19 on Leeds. Of these:

  • 920 (98%) were Leeds residents

  • 568 (60%) were in hospitals

  • 302 (32%) were in care homes

  • 25 (3%) in a hospice

  • 45 (5%) in the home.


To date, 19% of all deaths registered have been Covid-19 related this year.

[2] Covid-19 Restrictions: The government plans to end the national restrictions at midnight on 1/12/20, which means the current national restriction rules are still in place until then and must be followed until they expire. But with the end of the national regulations, the headline messages are:

  • the “stay at home” requirement will end, with domestic and international travel being permitted again, subject to Tier 3 advice

  • shops, personal care, gyms and the wider leisure sector will largely reopen

  • collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume, subject to social distancing

  • people will no longer be limited to seeing only one other person in outdoor public spaces - the rule of 6 will now apply outdoors as it did in the previous set of tiers.


Whilst we won’t have the detail of the regulations until early next week, we understand that the government announcement for Leeds, and others in Tier 3, means:

  • no indoor household mixing and maximum of six outdoors in public spaces (eg parks)

  • all hospitality closed with the exception of takeaway, drive through or delivery options; accommodation closed other than exceptions (eg business travel)

  • retail, personal care (eg hairdressers open), gyms and leisure centres open (although classes can’t take place)

  • advice is to work at home if you can

  • places of worship are open but attendees cannot interact with anyone outside household/support bubble; 15 guests for weddings, 30 for funerals, no wedding receptions

  • indoor entertainment venues closed; outdoor events should not take place (other than drive in events)

  • advice is against travel out of the Tier 3 area other than where necessary for work or education or another exception

The government will further review the Tiers on 16/12/20.

[3] Covid-19 Christmas Bubble: The Government has published guidance on forming a ‘Christmas bubble’. The four nations of the UK have jointly agreed an approach will allow people to spend time with others in a bubble of up to three households for the five-day period between 23/12/20 and 27/12/20.


Those travelling to and from Northern Ireland will be permitted to travel an additional day either side. In the two weeks before and after meeting with your ‘Christmas bubble’, people should take extra precautions by limiting contact with people outside their household as much as possible. There is specific advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people and care home residents.

We are currently working our way through the detail of these announcements to understand if there is any additional support for councils or not, so that we can assess what this means for us in relation to our medium term financial plan. We will continue to make the case for proper local authority funding, as well as additional support for businesses and other organisations, so that we can keep delivering vital services and push forward in recovering from the pandemic. We will issue a further update once that information is clear.

[4] Covid-19 Lateral Flow Tests: These deliver results quickly, but with lesser accuracy and are being used in a range of ways, from universities, NHS, some allocations to Directors of Public Health and community testing – so that we can use these in a targeted way where they will make the most difference and not detract from other priorities such as the vaccine.


The Leeds approach in the first instance will be to concentrate on groups of populations that would benefit from lateral flow testing, including local businesses, workforces including the public sector, and people who are at higher risk such as public transport workers.

Our universities have been given their own allocation of tests to offer to students who plan to travel home during the ‘student travel window’ of 3/12/20 to 9/12/20. The universities have done some great work collaboratively and supported by council colleagues to set up arrangements to use these tests for their students.

[5] Covid-19 Local Contact Tracing: The Council are close to launching our local contact tracing service to complement the national system. The service will join up with advice and support for those who have been advised to self-isolate, delivered where needed through the contact centre and our community hubs, including food shopping, medicine deliveries, befriending and assessing eligibility for financial support.


The Council will be drawing upon all our resources, including elected members and the third sector, to aid with tracing, and there will be follow-up activity including door knocking where appropriate to ensure people understand the need to self-isolate and know how to access support. More information will be provided in future briefings.

[6] Covid-19 Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV): A text message has been sent to people identified as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ to Covid-19, to remind them to register with the national shielding support service, even if they don’t need help right now.


Leeds has had very low rates of registration rate and we are worried many people will miss out on priority supermarket slots and other types of support if they are not registered before the advice changes again next week. Please help to get this message out if you can.


We are anticipating a change in the advice and support to people who are CEV to be published shortly, alongside the revised tier restriction for Leeds.

[7] Covid-19 Vaccination Planning: Leeds will begin rolling out Covid vaccines from mid-December onwards, in line with the national timetable.


The Council has been supporting NHS colleagues, and working with NHS and third sector staff to prepare our workforce, communications and logistics systems to deliver a huge programme that prioritises vaccinating people according to need and takes into account risk and possible exposure to the virus.


The Council will be using a number of different sites- a ‘mass vaccination’ site in the city centre is being developed as well as other sites based around GP practices. These will be supplemented by a mobile vaccination option targeted at people who are housebound or unable to travel (for example care home residents and some people who are clinically extremely vulnerable).


The first groups to be vaccinated from mid-December and through January will be: health and care workers, including those in the third sector; care home residents and staff; and people aged over 80 years.


Following on from this, by the end of February 2021, it is expected that all people aged over 50 will be offered the vaccine, starting with people aged 75-80 whilst also considering clinical vulnerability within each age cohort.


There are ongoing conversations about other groups of key workers and their relative priority within the programme. In particular, we are trying to influence national considerations about schools staff and frontline key workers unable to socially distance.


The Council are aware there has been a lot of information and misinformation about the vaccine programme. The vaccines we will be deploying have been developed in partnership between academics, universities and the public and private sector. Thousands of people have participated in clinical trials in the UK, Germany and the US and the vaccines are safe and effective for adults of all ages. The many myths around vaccines will be countered by our communications and community engagement work.


Covid-19 has had greater impact on older people, people unable to work from home and in black and minority ethnic communities. It has also had a huge impact on mental health across the city. Over coming months the council will be working with community groups and faith organisations to build support for the programme and ensure we have high take up across Leeds because the vaccine provides us with a route out of the Covid crisis.


The vaccine, when delivered in tandem with our other public health measures, will save lives, re-unite families and friends, take the pressure off the NHS and social care and allow us to rebuild the economy.

[8] Covid-19 Business Grant Funding: For businesses required to close due to the government’s national restrictions between 5/11/12 and 2/12/20 is available here: https://bit.ly/LeedsNationalRestrictions


Hospitality venues and accommodation providers who pay business rates and have suffered financially due to the local restrictions introduced on 25/9/20 can apply for support here: https://bit.ly/LeedsLocalRestrictions.


Businesses struggling to pay their business property costs due to the impact of coronavirus restrictions can apply for a grant to help pay fixed non-domestic property costs, such as mortgage payments, rent, service charges and business rates. This support scheme will be only be open for two weeks from 25/11/20 until 8/12/20: https://bit.ly/2V0frLz


More information is available at https://bit.ly/LeedsBusinesses

The Council are currently working on a further business support scheme for home based businesses and hope to have this available as soon as possible.


[9] Riverside Area Theft From Motor Vehicles: The police have given an update on their actions to deal with these crimes.

[10] New Premises License Application In Hunslet: Details can be found here.

[11] In The News

[12] MICE Grants: This week I agreed the following grants:

[13] Meetings and Visits:

[14] Upcoming Community Events and Meetings:


4/12/20: Ask Your Councillor (Live Stream - Past event can be re-watched here)

8/12/20: Get Set Leeds - Holbeck and Beeston Hill Residents Meeting (Zoom)


If you have a community event you'd like me to share, please let me know. The events must be non-party political and for the whole community. I'll also offer to host the Facebook event page if your group does not have its own Facebook Page etc. to do so.

Thank you for reading in this weekly update. This website is not paid for by the Council and costs time and money to run. Please support it by making a donation now.

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