Further details around Bromley’s ‘local lockdown’ plan revealed

Further details about the ‘local lockdowns’ which could be imposed across parts of the borough of Bromley in the event of a coronavirus outbreak have been revealed.

Boris Johnson last week gave local authorities the power to close specific premises, shut outdoor spaces and cancel events in a bid to quell virus flare-ups in what the Prime Minister described as “targeted local action”.

During July’s full meeting of council, Tory Councillor Simon Fawthrop (Petts Wood and Knoll) asked for more detail on who would make decisions at a local level if lockdowns were required.

Leader of the council, Colin Smith, said any decisions would be jointly-made by council staff and senior councillors.

“The decision on any physical enforcement decision would be taken by officers in conjunction with either the lead member for public protection (Cllr Kate Lymer) or myself if we are available. In the unlikely event we’re not, it’d be delegated to the chief officer for public protection,” he said.

The government’s strategy is to target local clusters or outbreaks, with local data on cases to be used to identify potential hotspots which should be locked down.

Various locations around the UK have already faced local lockdowns, such as the city of Leicester, as well as more specific premises, such as a Herefordshire farm where 200 workers were asked to self-isolate after 73 tested positive for coronavirus.

July’s full meeting of council – held digitally, with councillors signing in remotely as they have since March – also saw members updated on when they could expect to return to Bromley Civic Centre for meetings.

Cllr Smith said the authority’s legal officer “remains on a standard brief to inform when physical meetings” could return, adding “which I would prefer to see happen at the earliest possible safe opportunity”.

The end of the meeting also saw him move a motion thanking those who had helped during the pandemic.

“This council wishes to place on record, our profound thanks, gratitude and

admiration for the unstinting work and bravery of all local front line workers

throughout the Covid crisis,” the motion stated.

“NHS, care sector, blue light services, council staff and its contractors, teachers and school staff, transport workers, essential retailers, HM Armed forces, the borough’s 4,500 volunteers and others too numerous to mention. “You have been a lifeline to many and an inspiration to us all.

“You have shown Bromley at its finest and we thank you on behalf of every single resident.”