COMPARISONS between Redditch and Stratford over Covid-19 restrictions are unfair and should not be made, says the Leader of Redditch Borough Council Matt Dormer.
His comments come as Stratford District Council, with a Covid infection rate of 67 per 100,000, this week launched a Judicial Review into Health Secretary Matt Hancock decision to placereddi it in the strictest Tier 3 level with the rest of Warwickshire.
Redditch, which had 194 cases per 100,000 yesterday is in Tier 2 while near neighbour Bromsgrove, also in Worcestershire has 131 cases per 100,000.
However Councillor Dormer said it was wrong for Stratford to launch a Judicial Review and that he ‘would not prioritise taxpayers money’ on one.
He added: “I have every sympathy with Stratford and I do agree it was wrong for them to be placed into Tier 3.
“However, the government is clearly doing its best to keep us all safe and this is a complex job.
“I don’t think it’s right to launch a Judicial Review at this stage and I don’t agree with the comparisons of numbers between Stratford and Redditch.
“We’re not at all comparableand the fact remains that at the time of deciding the Tiers the rate in Worcestershire was lower than Warwickshire as a whole.”
On the decision to go for a Judicial Review Coun Tony Jefferson, the Leader of Stratford District Council, which includes Alcester, Studley and Sambourne, said: “This is not an action we take lightly, however none of the data we see warrants Stratford-on-Avon District being placed in Tier 3.
“I know they have looked at a number of factors including the rates in all age groups, particularly older people who are more vulnerable to the virus; and we have to take into consideration the pressure on local hospitals and NHS services.
“However, none of the metrics for our District warrant it being placed in Tier 3.
“The decision to put Stratford District in Tier 3 therefore appears arbitrary and irrational.
“There is widespread feeling of disbelief and anger.
“People know the relevant numbers for the area and fail to see the decision as either an accurate reflection of the situation or fair.
“Locally, Tier 3 is just not seen as credible.
“The prospect of a review as late as December 16 is no consolation.”
Stratford is requesting the Department of Health and Social Care retracts the decision to place it in Tier 3 and put to it into Tier 1 or 2 instead.