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A Lichfield councillor has called for the Government to issue more details about plans for new marshals to enforce coronavirus social distancing rules.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the roles would allow for “stronger enforcement of the rules”.

But Cllr Miles Trent, Lib Dem representative for Chadsmead ward at Lichfield City Council, said councils were “perplexed” by how the roles would be introduced.

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“The Government has indicated that local authorities are to work out the details of the scheme, but it has not announced any additional funding to help local councils pay for the marshals.

“In fact, no guidance has yet been given as to funding, personnel or powers of enforcement, and no timescale or details have been given for recruitment or security checks of the marshals, or how they will be accountable for their role.

“There are many unanswered questions.”

Cllr Miles Trent, Lichfield City Council

The new social distancing guidelines mean groups of more than six cannot gather together.

Cllr Trent said he backed steps to combat the spread of COVID-19, but said measures needed to be introduced with clarity.

“Of course it is vital to keep the numbers of new coronavirus infections as low as possible, and hence the importance of complying with social distancing rules and rules preventing gatherings of more than six people.

“However, it is essential that Government policies to ensure compliance are properly thought through rather than being dealt with by hasty press releases.

“To me, this is another example of the Prime Minister seizing on a picturesque phrase, such as ‘oven-ready’, ‘bridge to Ireland’, or ‘stay alert’, but with no proper planning or depth of thought behind the words.

“This is becoming a real concern and is leading to a loss of trust in the government’s handling of this crisis.”

Cllr Miles Trent, Lichfield City Council

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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5 Comments

  1. Both the public and police are confused about the role and activities of the new COVID marshals. They won’t apparently have any enforcement powers, so expect arguments and fights on the high streets. If there is any trouble they are to call the police, but the police have already stated that they don’t have the resources to deal with such matters. Yet another publicity gimmick from a clueless government.

  2. The government says you should spy and tell on your neighbours. Us older generation will recognise what is going on. A dictatorship do you remember

  3. The latest farce is that no testing is available in the most affected regions, and yet people are being asked to inform on their neighbours on the off-chance that they may be suffering from a disease from which it is now, as a matter of practicality, impossible to prove or disprove that they are suffering.
    Truly this government, including our very own “Rule Britannia”-singing Member of Parliament, is unfit for purpose.

  4. One has to wonder whether there will be any martials. Are they going to be volunteers? If so, unless they are very carefully vetted this is likely to attract some of the worst kind of bullies onto the streets. A vigilante society. Is that what we want? Of course the Police don’t have the resources to martial breaking the new social distancing rules. The Tory government cut them by 20000. Then some years later Boris Johnson announced they are to recruit an additional 20000. The public doesn’t catch on to the games that this government is up to. Every announcement made disguises the real purpose of new rules and of legislation. The UK is heading for martial law. Although the Police lack the resources we will find the Army will be needed to control the inevitable civil unrest. That’s really what is mostly behind this new rule. It’s clearly nothing to do with the pandemic. Because children are back at school, little or no social distancing, the workforce is being called back to the workplace even though the virus is still rampant. And ho-hum – it’s not ok for anyone to gather in a group of more than 6 but it is ok for grouse hunting Tory voters to gather in groups up to 30. Fox hunting though banned, is still happening. A shambolic exploiter government is moving us closer to worse and worse chaos.

  5. It strikes me a good role for retired Sergeant Majors or better still put funding into the Royal British Legion and bring these wonderful people onto the streets to engage and create the respect that is missing. If any one were to abuse any of these ladies and gentlemen the public support would be there to assist them.

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