BRADFORD Council has asked for extra testing units, more environmental health officers and funding to develop its own local test-and-trace programme.

It is aiming to cut the number of coronavirus cases in the district as it emerged that Bradford is "an area of concern", according to a classified Government document leaked to The Observer newspaper.

Both Bradford and Kirklees have been earmarked for what Government officials call 'enhanced support', including assistance from the armed forces which is in charge of mobile testing units.

Council leader Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe said: “It’s no secret that Bradford has higher infection rates than most although it is now coming down due to the action we’ve taken. Nevertheless we know we need to redouble our efforts.

"We welcome the active dialogue we have with Government. We’re already doing more testing than any other authority in the region but we want to do more. We’re part of a national pilot testing asymptomatic frontline workers and if this is successful we’d like to expand this further.

"We’ve asked the Government for our own mobile testing units, more environmental health officers, support to pay full wages to low-paid workers having to self-isolate, and funding to develop our own local test-and-trace system.

"There’s nothing more important than protecting our residents from this virus and we’ll work with Government to do that.”