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Leicester mayor ‘very, very concerned’ about impact of coronavirus in city

Leicester city mayor Sir Peter Soulsby told a press conference that testing has increased in the city in recent days and weeks.

However, he said some colleagues “have had to spend quite a lot of time persuading the people actually on the ground doing the testing that the Secretary of State said they should stay in Leicester”.

He added: “As some of them were on occasions seeking to decamp to go and measure elsewhere.”

Sir Peter added: “I’m very, very concerned obviously about the impact on the well-being of the city in general and the health of the people in the city, but also about the economy of the city.

“One of the things we’ve been stressing to the Government over recent times is that if Leicester is to be locked down and its economy put in limbo for a little longer, we will need support that was given earlier in the pandemic, throughout the UK, restored here in Leicester.”

He told reporters that the local lockdown announced last night “was, I think, more wide-ranging than we’d anticipated”.

“I’m really grateful for that, because while it is a pain for us and a nuisance for us in the city to be subject to that level of restriction and to have the clock turned back in the development of the virus, it is nonetheless something that has some realistic prospect of being effective,” he said.

Sir Peter also said that leaders are still trying to learn more about where the virus is in the city, saying: “We do need still to know more about where it is in the community.

“I’ve had lots of speculation and lots of questions about where it is in the community and we have not as yet been able to give satisfactory answers even to ourselves, no matter anybody else, about which parts of the community need the intervention.

“Which neighbourhoods, which communities, indeed which streets.”