Christopher Whiteside MBE is a Conservative activist.
He has served as a County, City & District, Borough, Town and Parish councillor, and has also been a school governor and health authority member.
He lives and works in the North of England, particularly spending time in Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire.
Coronavirus update 23rd September 2020
Update from the government received today:
"Last night, the Prime Minister addressed the nation outlining that although there are difficult months to come if we follow these simple rules together – the new restrictions outlined yesterday, the rule of six and remember Hands, Face and Space – we will get through this winter together.
At every stage of this pandemic we have struck a delicate balance between saving lives by protecting our NHS and minimising the wider impact of our restrictions.
It is because of the common sense and fortitude of the British people that earlier this year we were able to avert an even worse catastrophe. But we always knew that while we might have driven the virus into retreat, the prospect of a second wave was real. As in Spain and France and many other countries, we have reached a perilous turning point.
On Monday, the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser warned that the doubling rate for new cases could be between seven and 20 days and in the last fortnight, daily hospital admissions in England have more than doubled. The UK’s Covid alert level was raised from 3 to 4 yesterday meaning that transmission is high or rising exponentially.
So, this is the moment when we must act. If we can curb the number of daily infections, and reduce the R number to 1, then we can save lives, protect the NHS, and the most vulnerable, and shelter the economy from the far sterner and more costly measures that would inevitably become necessary later.
So now it falls to each and every one of us to remember the basics – wash our hands, cover our faces, observe social distancing – and follow the rules.
Then we can fight back against this virus, shelter our economy from even greater damage, protect the most vulnerable in care homes and hospitals, safeguard our NHS and save many more lives.
We are introducing new restrictions and strengthening the rules – making them easier for people to understand, for the police to enforce and to ensure the minimum damage is done to lives and livelihoods:
We are once again asking those who can work from home to do so – with particular emphasis on office workers. In all professions where homeworking is not possible, such as construction or retail and for all those key public services, people should continue to attend their workplaces.
From tomorrow all pubs, bar and restaurants must operate table-service only, except for take-aways – with all hospitality venues required close at 10pm daily. In order to help enforce this the Prime Minister made it clear this is not the calling of last orders but closing at 10pm. The same rules will apply for takeaways – although deliveries can occur thereafter.
We are extending and strengthening the requirement to wear face coverings. These new requirements will include the wearing of facemasks by staff in retail, all users of taxis and private hire vehicles, and most importantly both staff and customers in all indoor hospitality – except when seated at a table to eat or drink.
We are making our Covid-secure guidelines a legal requirement. In retail, leisure and other sectors these guidelines will become a legal requirement – meaning businesses can be both fined, up to £10,000, and closed if they breach these rules.
From Monday, we will tighten the rule of six. The rule of six will be extended to all adult indoor team sports. A maximum of 15 people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions. However, up to 30 people can still attend funerals as they can do currently.
Business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events will be unable to reopen as planned from 1 October. We recognise the implications this will have for our sports clubs – the decision was not taken lightly. We are urgently considering how we can support these clubs, many of which are central to our communities.
This is not a return to the full lockdown in March. We are not issuing a general instruction to stay at home. We will ensure that schools, colleges and universities stay open - because nothing is more important than the education, health and well-being of our young people. We will ensure that businesses can stay open in a Covid-compliant way."
Please note that the post below was published more than ten year ago on 21st November 2009 Nick Herbert MP, shadow cabinet member for the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, was in Cumbria this morning to see the areas affected by the flooding. He writes on Conservative Home about his visit. Here is an extract. I’ve been in Cumbria today to see the areas affected by the floods. I arrived early in Keswick where I met officials from the Environment Agency. Although the river levels had fallen considerably and homes were no longer flooded, the damage to homes had been done. And the water which had got into houses wasn’t just from the river – it was foul water which had risen from the drains. I talked to fire crews who were pumping flood water back into the river, and discovered that they were from Tyne & Wear and Lancashire. They had been called in at an hours’ notice and had been working on the scene ever since, staying at a local hotel. You cannot fail to be impressed by the
It isn't impossible to find people making an intelligent, optimistic, free-market case for a Britain which would be open to trade with the whole world rather than a haven for Xenophobic little Englanders. The trouble is that you do have to go out and look for them. Writing as a professional economist - e.g. someone with two degrees in the discipline who has used the skills I acquired with those degrees for the majority of my professional life - I was not expecting the debate about the economic advantages of Leave versus Remain to be the walkover for the latter which it has been to date. The economic case about the risks of Brexit put by George Osborne and the Treasury is not without substance or supporting arguments, and it is silly and childish to dismiss their case as pure scaremongering but that does NOT mean there are no counterarguments and personally I think they have overstated a legitimate case. But it is most depressing that there has been almost no publicity given
I am devastated by the news that my friend and colleague, County Councillor Arthur Lamb died unexpectedly but peacefully in his sleep yesterday morning. He was thirty-one years old. (Picture from Whitehaven News from CCC election count 2017) Arthur William Creighton Lamb was Chairman of Copeland Conservatives at the time of the Copeland by-election, in which the Conservatives achieved the first governing party by-election gain on a directly comparable basis since Worcester in 1878. He was still chairman when the Conservatives held the seat in the 2017 general election. That year he was also elected County Councillor for the Cleator Moor East and Frizington division of Cumbria County Council and at the time of his death was Chief Whip of the Conservative group on the county council. He was also Deputy Chairman of Cumbria Conservatives. Arthur was a perfect example of what is meant by the expression "An old head on young shoulders." He was exceptionally shrewd and had a real kn