We must re-double efforts says Regional Mayor

The West of England’s Mayor Tim Bowles has joined other local leaders in urging residents to follow government guidance to slow the spread of Covid-19 and protect vulnerable people across the region.

As cases rise across the country, the Government has announced a new three-tiered approach to introducing new rules to reduce the risk of people spreading the virus. The West of England is currently in the lowest tier (medium risk).

The Mayor is calling on residents to re-double their efforts to follow the Government’s guidelines to prevent a further increase in cases:

  • The rule of 6 still applies for meeting indoors and outdoors
  • 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants
  • Stay 2 metres apart from people you don’t live with
  • Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
  • Wear a face covering in indoor settings with people you don’t normally meet

Regional Mayor Tim Bowles said: “As we move into the winter months, with Covid-19 still in circulation and the number of cases in our region rising, we face an increasing public health challenge. I know the things we are being asked to do as individuals can sometimes go against our own natural instincts, but it is vital that we listen to the advice from the NHS and the Government.

“I am working closely with our local councils, NHS colleagues, universities and colleges, businesses and transport providers, to monitor the situation closely and make sure we do everything we can to slow the spread of the virus and support local people and businesses during this challenging time.

“My team at the Combined Authority is leading the support for businesses in our region through our Growth Hub service. Over the last few months we have supported thousands of businesses with everything from support to improve trading online to free mental health training and help to retrain and develop their employees to adapt to the changing and challenging business landscape. Our West of England Recovery Plan builds on this work to make sure that we build back greener and stronger.

“We are facing economic and personal challenges the like of which we have never seen before. However, through supporting each other, following the guidelines and adapting our businesses we can slow the spread of the virus and begin to recover as quickly as possible and continue to grow and thrive into the future.”

Case numbers in the region are as follows:

  • In the week ending 9 October 2020, there were 910 confirmed positive cases of covid-19 in the West of England – 78.7 cases per 100,000 people.
  • This rate has risen from 47.4 per 100,000 in the week before, and 13.9 three week ago.
  • By comparison, England experienced 139.3 cases per 100,000 people in this week.
  • The R number for the South West is 1.3-1.6.
w/e 9 October 2020Cases per 100,000 peopleChange from previous week
Bath & North East Somerset87.4+32.6
Bristol99.7+49.4
North Somerset44.2+13.5
South Gloucestershire64.5+14.4
West of England78.7+31.3
England139.3+29.1

The West of England Recovery plan, agreed and launched on Friday, outlines how the region’s creativity, innovation and diversity will be harnessed to protect and secure jobs, while building back greener and creating opportunities for all residents to share in the recovery.

An extra £4.4 million was committed by the West England Combined Authority Committee on Friday 9 October which takes the total investment in the region’s businesses and skills to over £100m over the next four years. This includes business support, skills and employment initiatives.

It builds on the work that the Combined Authority has led during the pandemic including investment in cycling and walking initiatives, including the Joy in the Journey campaign to support residents to walk or cycle, expanding skills programmes such as Future Bright to help residents find employment and support for businesses to adapt and recover.

Link to recovery plan

The full government guidance for tier 1 is available here

For more information on support for those affected by the coronavirus situation, including information and advice for businesses from the West of England Growth Hub, please visit: https://www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/support-for-business-through-coronavirus-covid-19/.