STRATFORD District Council is challenging the Government’s decision to put it into Tier 3 under the new lockdown restrictions.
The District Council, which covers Studley, Alcester and Sambourne, has sent a Judicial Review pre-action protocol letter to Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
Tony Jefferson, Leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council 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.
“It is very disappointing that the Government did not use much greater granularity in deciding on tiers.
“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 our 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.
“Our hospitality businesses are devastated by the news.
“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.
“Most hospitality businesses will not now open before Christmas, I understand the effort and logistics make this very difficult.
“The consequences for business survival and unemployment could be significant.
“This against the context of Stratford-on-Avon being seen as the 4th hardest hit council area in the country.
“This is why we have taken the dramatic step of initiating a Judicial Review pre action protocol.”
The District Council is requesting the DHSC retracts the decision to put Stratford-on-Avon District into Tier 3 and put it into Tier 1 or 2 and/or to take all necessary steps to withdraw and/or amend the relevant regulations.
In the week up to November 26, Stratford District had 83 cases of Covid per 100,000, while Tier 2 authorities like Redditch had 186, Bromsgrove 159, and Worcester 93.