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London Mayor calls for 10pm curfew ditch as Greater Manchester fights for funding

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Sadiq Khan has called for the 10pm curfew in London to be scrapped immediately while the Labour Mayor of Greater Manchester has called for a "fair, financial framework" of funding for 'Tier 3' areas.

As of last weekend, London was plunged into the ‘high alert’, ‘Tier 2’ lockdown system, preventing different households from socially mixing indoors while a 10pm curfew was introduced for pubs, bars and restaurants. The ‘rule of six’ remains for outdoor settings.

While Khan previously said it was an “inevitable” move, he today said the current 10pm curfew “makes even less sense” as businesses need all the help they can get right now.

As such, he is calling for the 10pm curfew to be scrapped.

A statement read: “I have said for a while that the current curfew rule needs to be rapidly reviewed. We saw the worrying consequences of increased social mixing on the streets and on public transport in the capital around 10pm immediately after its introduction.

“Now London and other parts of the country have moved into Tier 2 and higher restrictions, which prohibit household mixing, the current 10pm curfew policy makes even less sense and should be scrapped.

“Immediately scrapping the 10pm curfew would allow more sittings of single households in restaurants throughout the evening, helping with cashflow at a time when venues need all the support they can get.

“The government still haven’t got a grip on this virus and provided a functioning test and trace system. Ministers must give businesses the support they need to survive while restrictions remain in place. This includes access to a proper job retention scheme in line with the 80% furlough scheme in place at the start of the pandemic.”

Greater Manchester fights for funding

Meanwhile, Greater Manchester officials met with the government today to negotiate a funding deal for citizens as the area’s increased coronavirus cases means it is set for the ‘very high alert’ system – ‘Tier 3’.

Andy Burnham, Labour Mayor for Greater Manchester said he requested £90m funding to help businesses that would struggle under the restrictive measures to the end of the financial year (£15m per month). However, they were willing to accept less.

The government reportedly offered £50m before Burnham called for £65m and the government countered the offer with £60m. It is at this point that earlier negotiations stalled.

Speaking at 4pm today following the break down of the negotiations, Burnham said he has seen a deliberate act by the government of levelling down funding.

He said: “People have been living under these restrictions for three months and it’s taken a heavy toll on people and businesses are on the brink of closure.

“To accept further restrictions in these circumstances would cause homelessness, poverty and hardship in the region.

“This city region has never walked on by and we never will. We will stand up for what is right. It can’t be right to close people’s place of work without proper support in this challenging winter.

“We can only accept restrictions with financial support to help  the-self employed and low income workers.”

Burnham added that during the negotiation phase, the government refused to accept their figures and walked away at 2pm.

However, he is still willing to do a deal but not on the terms offered by the government.

Burnham said: “The government is asking a lot of the public at this difficult time; we need to carry them with us, not crush their spirit.

“We’re now looking for parliament to intervene and offer a fair, financial framework for ‘Tier 3’ regions, not just Greater Manchester. All parts of the country may find themselves in ‘Tier 3’ this winter.

“We will carry on fighting for you. Tough days lie ahead.”

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