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"Council enforcement measures on Covid-19 are too lenient " say Medway Liberal Democrats

January 18, 2021 4:35 PM
By Medway Liberal Democrats

signMedway Liberal Democrats are concerned about lax enforcement measures being undertaken by Medway Council and their failure to impose fines or remove licences in the face of breaches of the Covid-19 regulations.

Nationally, the Liberal Democrats have called on the Home Secretary to ensure Government guidelines, which currently lack clarity, are crystal clear and understood. Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson, Alistair Carmichael MP said, "The police cannot respond to every potential breach of the rules and so it is up to all of us to respect one another and take personal responsibility for keeping our communities safe."

This comes after news that the owners of a micropub appeared at Medway Council Licensing hearing for breaching Lockdown 2 Covid-19 rules. The hearing was told that there had been at least five lock-ins in this particular pub. This is a significant breach of restrictions and yet the only imposition was that the pub lost its licence.The owners have claimed that they have been made scapegoats, however compared to the sanctions available the owners have been dealt with very lightly. There have been no individual removal of licences and there have been no personal or business fines.

Additionally, we have witnessed a number of essential businesses mainly, but not exclusively, takeaways that have failed to take adequate steps to make their premises secure when serving food and handling change with the public.

John Castle, spokesperson for Medway Liberal Democrats said, "the Council should be taking a responsible attitude and enforcing fines where rules on these premises are not implemented properly. Most businesses, including micropubs, across our towns are playing their part in bringing the infection rate back under control, with measures designed to reduce the risk of people catching the virus.

Restrictions are in place across Medway, but when people are knowingly and wilfully breaching the regulations, we feel that the Council should act quickly to enforce them by issuing fines."