A Burntwood councillor has called for more action to ensure people can access coronavirus tests.

Concerns have been raised nationally over the availability of slots for people to get checked for COVID-19.

Reports have also said NHS staff have been off work isolating due to the issue.

Cllr Sue Woodward, Labour representative for Burntwood North at Staffordshire County Council, said she had been contacted by residents who had been told to travel as far as Oldham for a test.

Cllr Sue Woodward

And she said the issue appeared to be getting worse with more locals getting in touch over the lack of access to testing sites.

“Last week, I was told that part of the problem with accessing tests locally was that they were being prioritised for areas with spikes of infection and the lack of laboratory capacity to process them – but the problems are increasing rather than showing any signs of diminishing.

“I’ve been hearing of  examples where people have gone to walk-in testing centres only to be told that they must book online, people trying to book online but not being able to get through the system barriers, others being sent from one testing centre to another and waiting long hours in queues.

“All of this is in complete contrast to what the Government are telling us. Their rhetoric simply doesn’t square with people’s experience.

“To be fair to Staffordshire County Council, they are doing all they can to increase capacity across the county but this comes at an additional financial cost and means we are chasing the virus instead of getting ahead of it.”

Cllr Sue Woodward, Staffordshire County Council

Although Birmingham has seen additional lockdown rules introduced due to a spike in infections, Staffordshire has so far avoided any additional measures.

But Cllr Woodward said testing needed to be in place to ensure people could feel safe going forward.

“This is currently very far from a world-beating system we have constantly been promised and, as more tests are required as schools have now reopened and people are encouraged to go back to their workplaces, there will be more and more demand on a system that is currently not coping.

“We need greater honesty and clarity from Government on this as on many other issues.

“People are willing to continue to ‘do the right thing’ but are becoming more and more frustrated and disillusioned. So am I.”

Cllr Sue Woodward, Staffordshire County Council

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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14 Comments

  1. Hello RAY SMITH. That comment is a bit problematic. I’d love to discuss it with you face to face, but I doubt you’d be up to it. Cllr Woodward, (not the Woodward woman) IS actually working for her constituents. She has done for many years. …. Cllr Willis-Croft—- is that you? Need hug?

  2. Unhelpful comment Ray as SW works very hard for her constituents.

    I am interested in Fabbo’s views on how well the Govt is performing against its Test and Trace ambitions. He seems to have gone quiet or is he waiting for Johnson to tell him what to say?

  3. No idea who Ray Smith is. I have never seen his name on the local ballot papers, or in local news, so I am not sure why he is choosing the to attack 1 of the hardest working councillors in Burntwood.
    If Ray Smith thinks he can do a better job, and is willing to spend his time helping the constituents, attending meetings and working with community groups, then I look forward in seeing his leaflets in the next elections. But no doubt my vote will be going to Sue for all she has done, and continues to do

  4. What a disgraceful comment to make Ray Smith about Councillor Sue Woodward. She is an extremely hard working County and Burntwood Town Councillor, who has done a tremendous amount of work over many years to help her constituents and also to improve Burntwood. I find your comment very offensive and a total untruth, as well as being totally unacceptable towards women.

  5. Ignorance is – no excuse.
    On Sunday afternoon, that woman, my wife, Sue was doing casework as usual and reading papers for meetings the next day.
    Monday: 2 County 1 BTC meeting plus casework.
    Tuesday: 2 Local Government Association meetings (that pre Covid would have been in London) and 1 County meeting, plus casework.
    Today so far: 1 Local meeting – at least if Zoom had worked for the host and a meeting at 12 with a volunteer plus casework.

    Before Covid she held a street surgery with her District Boney Hay and Central Ward colleagues, Di Evans, Brad Westwood and Rob Birch in Common View, Beaudesert and Shaw Drive – in addition to their monthly surgeries in the library. We also held them in Princess Street in Chase Terrace Ward before the lockdown.

    On Lichfield Live she has two mentions for the month so far – so perhaps Mr Smith is using the same methodology as the Prime Minster is over Covid-19 Test figures?

  6. A very interesting comment from Ray Smith, someone I haven’t heard of before. I don’t think anyone in Burntwood would say the same about Sue for better or worse. Personally I disagree with Sue politically on a number of topics but one thing I would never describe her as is someone who doesn’t do the work locally. She has been pivotal in pushing the Burntwood Town Deal and being a committed representative for the area she deeply cares about.

  7. I am politically opposed to Cllr Woodward but agree with a lot of what she says. It is also evident how hard working she is for her constituents, but also in her support of the wider district.
    I have been a supporter of our MP since he was first elected here. But I am happy to go on record to say that this year Cllr Woodward has shown far more leadership than our MP.
    In this particular issue she is also 100% correct.
    Please keep up your hard work Cllr Woodward, you have supporters from all political colours.

  8. To Mr Smith, Cllr Woodward is one of our most visible and hard working councillors, not to mention the voluntary work she has been involved in during lockdown.

  9. I’ll add my voice to those supporting Cllr Woodward. You’d be hard pressed to find a more diligent person who works tirelessly not just for her own residents but the wider community. Long may she continue doing exactly what she’s doing for all our benefit.

  10. Sue Woodward is an amazing lady who works endlessly to help others. We were being terrorised by a person across our road. Without Sue’s help on this issue it would not of got sorted. Sue supported me and my family at all hours of the day and night whilst this was going on. She went above and beyond and I am eternally greatful for her support.

  11. Oi! Smith. Little brother here. If that’s the level that you wish to debate at I’ll see you around the back of the bike sheds you pathetic little worm.
    If you want to actually see the true worth of one of the finest political activists this country has ever seen keep your pathetic little gob shut, and observe.

  12. I wasn’t going to rise to Mr Smith’s bait – if that’s his real name – but I just wanted to thank all of the people who have jumped to my defence (even my “little” brother who’s about a foot taller than me). Yes, we can have political differences but it’s unacceptable when it descends to personal abuse, whether against me or anyone else. I am very grateful to you all for taking the time to defend my honour!

    Someone asked me, “How do you stand it?” That’s easy: it’s because the vast majority of people are kind, decent and caring. We can’t let the small minority of “Smiths” drown that out.

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