BRADFORD Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe has called for more Government funding, as the district was placed in Tier 3 despite its infection rate falling.

The district will be placed into the very high Tier 3 category of covid restrictions from Wednesday, December 2, following Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s announcement in the House of Commons this morning.

But Councillor Hinchcliffe fears many of the district’s businesses will fold unless a government cash boost is injected.

She said: “Our infection rates are going down so I welcome the opportunity of a regular review of these arrangements so that we can exit as soon as possible.

“The restrictions must come with more government funding to support the many local businesses and their supply chains which have been battling on in restrictions for months now.

“The risk is, even with furlough, that many businesses will simply fold and cut their losses. “This is particularly true of businesses in the supply chain of the leisure and hospitality sector who have not been eligible for business grants but whose customer base has been closed or restricted for long periods.

“The good news is that non-essential retail can re-open at the busiest time of the year.

“But Bradford and West Yorkshire are going to need significant investment going forward to support businesses and jobs. I’m already making the case to Government.

“I am also asking the Government to review the system for payments to low-paid people who must self-isolate and cannot work from home.

“Many are not qualifying for the standard scheme and the discretionary grants are running out.”

Cllr Hinchcliffe also praised district residents for their ongoing help during the pandemic, but people still need to be vigilant.

She added: “We’re pleased to see the rate of infection declining in the district. I thank residents across the district for working with us on this at considerable costs to themselves. But we know our hospitals are still under immense pressure so we are not out of the woods yet.

“There is a need for sustained vigilance. Overall the core messages of hands, face, space; restrict social interaction; get a test if you have symptoms; and self-isolate if asked to remain the most important. Only by following those core messages will we prevent the spread of this destructive virus.”