Conwy Council leader requests for changes to local lockdown

Councillor Sam Rowlands, Welsh Conservative Leader of Conwy Council, has written to the First Minister of Wales today (6th October) formally requesting the removal of the restriction which prevents people from moving in and out of the Conwy County Borough without reasonable excuse.

Cllr Rowlands writes, having outlined last week to the First Minister the catastrophic effect of the restriction will have on the local economy, that:

“You will know that I am very supportive of balanced measures which follow the evidence of what is causing the increase in Covid-19 cases. As I shared with you, it is clear that there is no evidence which points to the movement of people in North Wales as a major contributing factor for the increase in cases of Covid-19. Therefore, this restriction does not appear to be based on any evidence and seems completely disproportionate to the reality of the situation.”

In his letter to the First Minister Cllr Rowlands continues:

“Aside from the significant economic impact and associated health and wellbeing consequences, this restriction does not take into consideration the natural cross border necessity of life in North Wales. Many of my residents cannot understand why they cannot travel a few hundred metres to their nearest shop but are ‘allowed’ to travel miles in the opposite direction to access the same service. This effects over 35,000 residents at the Kinmel Bay/Rhyl border alone and makes no sense. Again, the science does not appear to support a restriction which prevents this movement of people.”

Commenting on the letter, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Covid-19 Recovery and the Member of the Welsh Parliament for Clwyd West, Darren Millar MS, said:

“Local restrictions should be just that, local. Instead, the Welsh Government has chosen to impose county-wide restrictions across a huge swathe of North Wales without publishing the detailed evidence to support such a move.

“Welsh Ministers have taken a different approach in other parts of Wales, such as Carmarthenshire, where they have focused restrictions on local hotspots rather than areas beyond these with much lower rates of Covid-19 cases.

“Given the significant disruption and hardship that local coronavirus restrictions are causing for people in North Wales it is incumbent upon Welsh Ministers to justify their actions and publish community by community data to enable scrutiny of their measures.”