The Oldham Liberal Democrat Group is sceptical about Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recent announcement that an ‘army’ of marshals will be deployed to police Covid-19 compliance amongst Britain’s businesses and their customers as the Conservative Government will not back the plan with new cash to local authorities to employ them nor grant the new marshals’ additional powers for enforcement.
Responding to the news, Liberal Democrat Group Leader Councillor Howard Sykes MBE said: “Regrettably, this posse will be more Deputy Dawg than Wyatt Earp. For after sounding tough and decisive, the Prime Minister has once again regressed to type by saying that there be no money, no people, no powers and no training for local government to implement the so-called initiative. Clearly this announcement could be something taken straight out of President Trump’s play book, an attempt to pedal a soundbite without substance, and this makes it no use in my view.”
Councillor Sykes added: “We have previously seen the national model for Track and Trace scheme fail when imposed upon a local area like Oldham. If Government really wants to help us tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, they should recognise that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work and leave us free to develop our own solutions, recognising that we have the local knowledge and contacts to make it work.”
“The imposition of a national marshal system will simply undermine what is being done locally using local people from our local communities to support those at risk of infection to successfully embrace behaviour changes to help keep them safe. Government needs to give us the support, give us the cash, and trust us to get on with it.”