This statement has been issued on behalf of the leaders of Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Council, Blackpool Council and the 12 Lancashire district councils.

“Our discussions are continuing with central government about what further restrictions may be imposed on Lancashire to help curb the spread of coronavirus.

“We share the same objectives with central government– to protect our residents, to protect our economy and to protect our NHS.

“But we do need more detail from government about their proposals and in particular what the differences will be between the tiers in the planned new system.

“Any additional measures that are brought in must also go hand-in-hand with additional support for those affected. The government’s extension to the furlough scheme is a welcome step but any further restrictions on Lancashire’s economy will require more support to protect jobs and businesses. We also welcome any move to give local areas more influence and powers with respect to test and trace. We’re on the ground and we know our communities best. But that also will require significant investment in local areas so that the job can be done well.

“In our discussions with central government we have set out clearly what our views are on how coronavirus can be contained in Lancashire. We look forward to continuing those talks – which must be meaningful, genuine and constructive – ahead of any final decisions about the new tier system.

“Alongside our NHS, police and other public services, local government has been on the frontline of the response to the pandemic providing vital services and support to those who need it most. We will continue to do this, and continue to make the case for Lancashire to government.”