SO that’s it then, Warrington is the equivalent of plague central. Well, not quite plague central, but certainly in coronavirus Tier 3 ‘very high risk’ area.

It doesn’t really come as a surprise, does it? The move was almost inevitable with neighbouring towns in the Liverpool and Manchester city regions already in Tier 3 and the rate of infections in Warrington remaining stubbornly high.

To be honest, I’m not sure what effect moving up a tier will have although it does seem a shame you can’t meet people from outside your home in your garden.

But here’s my problem, we are either trying to get a grip on the pandemic or we’re not. I accept the new restrictions will be dire for those bars that don’t or can’t serve ‘substantial’ meals and will have to close but given that leisure centres, gyms, fitness centres, beauticians, hairdressers and trampoline centres can remain open the new rules seem to be something of a half-hearted attempt.

It also seems to indicate the spread of the disease is mainly down to so-called wet bars.

And frankly, that’s nonsense.

As far as I can see, there are also some significant anomalies within the Tier 3 rules. As I’ve said, trampoline centres can stay open but children’s soft play centres have to close.


My logic may be flawed but what’s the difference between kids bouncing up and down on a trampoline and running around in a soft play area?

Sadly, I don’t think the new rules will have much, if any, effect on the infection rate and subsequent deaths.

Schools are still open, colleges and universities are still open, people are still able to travel in and out of the area for work and supermarkets and other shops are still open for business.

And the figures seem to indicate that one in 49 people in the north west has Covid-19 so your trip to the supermarket is likely to bring you into contact with a coronavirus carrier.

Make no mistake, the decision to avoid a ‘circuit breaker’ full lockdown was a political one. There is little or no science behind local semi-lockdowns and my fear is without an exit strategy, we are going to be condemned to a semi-permanent lockdown twilight that drags on and on and on with no end in sight.

I think we can all kiss goodbye to Christmas parties unless something dramatic happens in the meantime.

I’ve said it before and stand by my assertion, we would have been much better having a strict, time-constrained, three-week total lockdown as we had earlier in the year. That time could have been used to bring down the infection rate and sort out the Serco Test and Trace mess.

Instead, we have muddle and fudge from our lords and masters in Westminster.

Talking about our lords and masters in Westminster, I can’t let last week’s vote on providing free school meals for the most needy during school holidays pass without comment.

A Labour bid – backing a campaign spearheaded by Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford – to extend free school meals during the Covid-19 pandemic was rejected by MPs last week after the ruling Tories were whipped to vote down the plan.

And don’t forget, in Scotland and Wales, the governments have extended free meals during school holidays until Easter 2021, while in Northern Ireland they will be provided over this month’s half-term break.

The strength of feeling against such a callous, heartless act by the Conservatives has prompted many cafes, restaurants and pubs across the town to step up and offer free meals to those vulnerable children. That’s heart-warming but they shouldn’t have had to do it.

We are in the middle of a pandemic that has massive public health implications but also massive economic implications. People have lost their jobs, some are on short time or reduced wages. Most families who rely on free school meals are not feckless and idle, they are victims of circumstances over which they have absolutely no control, despite what some Tory MPs would have you believe.

And basically the government has told those struggling people their children can just go hungry while at the same time doling out billions of pounds to the private sector with little or no scrutiny or transparency.

My gran used to stay you judge people by their actions, so for the record, Warrington South Tory MP Andy Carter voted with the government to deny free meals to the most needy children of his constituents.

Yes, I have judged him by his actions and I don’t like what I see.