Confirmed: Midlothian is to stay at Level 3

Monday November 23rd 2020

Midlothian Council


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Midlothian Council Leader Councillor Derek Milligan has confirmed that the Scottish Government has just informed the Council that Midlothian is to remain in level 3. He says:

“This is disappointing for business and communities given the hard work and preparation that has gone into the plans for opening up tomorrow. Many businesses have taken staff back from furlough and placed orders for goods worth tens of thousands of pounds, some of which is perishable. This decision will make an already volatile situation worse.

“We are also disappointed at the short notice given the importance of this decision. On Monday last week we received an email to say we would remain in level 3, by the Tuesday we received word that we would be moving to level 2 and now today we hear that we are back in level 3 based on the data, which was only shared with us this morning.”

Midlothian MP, Owen Thompson SNP, said:-

“The whole community will be deeply disappointed by this news. I have been in touch with the Scottish Government seeking greater clarity on the reasons why this change of heart was deemed necessary, particularly at such short notice. Businesses, individuals, public service providers and community groups had all planned and prepared for the changes and this will come as a bitter blow after so much sacrifice to get to this stage.

“I know that protecting public health is at the heart of this decision, and it will not have been taken lightly, but the people of Midlothian surely deserve greater warning when changes are coming that have such a major impact on all our lives. I am worried this last-minute reversal could be damaging to faith in important public health messaging.”

South Scotland Region MSP, Michelle Ballantyne Conservative said:

“While we must continue to do all we can to stop the spread of the virus, this move is a major blow for businesses and livelihoods in Midlothian.

“Having been given the hope of moving to a less restrictive level, they now find themselves under continued stricter restrictions for at least another week.

“This mixed messaging is unhelpful at a time when so many jobs and livelihoods, particularly in our hospitality sector in Midlothian are already at great risk.

“The UK Government have stepped up and delivered £8.2bn for Scotland during this pandemic. That’s money the SNP must deliver urgently to businesses in Midlothian who are crying out for further support.

“Everyone must continue to do their bit to guarantee Midlothian can move down to tier 2 as soon as possible.”

Article updated at 18:10 with comment from Owen Thompson.

Article updated at 18:40 with comment from Michelle Ballantyne.

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