A message from Alex White Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for North Devon
North Devon Liberal Democrats are clear - it is not good enough for people to 'stay alert'. Lockdown measures must be continued, with a clear message to the public, for the safety of North Devon residents and the country.
It is clear that North Devon relies heavily upon travel, tourism and hospitality in the summer months. That is not up for debate. One thing we at North Devon Liberal Democrats have learnt from speaking to residents across North Devon is that whilst tourism is needed, people do not put it above the safety of their friends, family and neighbours.
This new message of 'stay alert' is confusing. Millions of people have put their lives on hold, the elderly have stayed home lonely, those at greatest risk have shielded, many self employed people have been hit financially, restaurants and hotels have closed. But the people of North Devon have done those things, because they had trusted the science was right and that this was the way to save lives.
On May 9th, Selaine Saxby MP herself continued to call for North Devon residents to stay at home to save lives. So I ask her, what has changed her mind overnight? Specifically, what evidence reversed the government and your decision on this?
- Is it because economic growth has been put above public health?
- Is it because bureaucrats in London don't understand the influx of people we will get to North Devon beaches?
- What data is there to show things have changed and it is now safe?
This new slogan will sow confusion amongst the public and see tourists flock to our currently protected corner of the country. North Devon deserves better than the risk of infiltration due to a poorly thought out slogan. On this, we seek clarity from the Government.
To my North Devon friends and neighbours:
Please stay safe. Visit northdevon.gov.uk/coronavirus to find details of community organisations who can help you if you need it. I wish you and your family well at this turbulent time. I assure you we at the Liberal Democrats will continue to put pressure on the Government to make the right, responsible decisions for North Devon and the country.
This period has shown the very best in North Devon - the people who make this place what it is. Thank you to all of those Covid Heroes - the frontline workers, the NHS, the councils and the individuals shopping or running errands for those who need help.
This is a horrible time for our country, but the Government must be clear and transparent. Ministers must publish the evidence that they are relying on to make these decisions. Ms Saxby must push for this also. In the mean time, we will continue to be a loud voice for North Devon, pushing for answers and the safety of our area.