HEALTH secretary Matt Hancock says he is happy to work with the town’s MPs and Warrington Borough Council to boost testing capacity and help avoid a local lockdown.

Labour Warrington North MP Charlotte Nichols raised the issue in the House of Commons earlier today.

She told Mr Hancock the town has seen spiking numbers of new coronavirus cases.

The town’s rate of new cases remains among the highest in England after more than 200 confirmed cases were recorded in the most recent weekly figures.

Ms Nichols said: “We have real issues with demand for testing far outstripping local capacity.

“So can the secretary of state please outline what additional support he will give Warrington Borough Council to increase our testing capacity so we don’t have to go back into lockdown like our Greater Manchester neighbours?”

Mr Hancock said the Labour MP was ‘quite right’ to raise the concerns in Warrington with the increase in numbers of people testing positive.

He also said he was happy to work with Ms Nichols, the borough council and Conservative Warrington South MP Andy Carter to ‘make sure that we get the best possible response’ including putting in extra testing.

New figures have revealed that the rate of new coronavirus cases remains among the highest in England.

The town’s rate of new cases now stands at 105.2 per 100,000 people – with 221 new cases in the seven days to September 12. This compares to 96 cases in the previous week’s figures.