COVID-19: Joint Statement from Calderdale Place Leaders


At the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet tonight (Monday 3 August), Cllr Tim Swift, Leader of the Council, presented the joint statement below on behalf of Calderdale’s Place Leaders:

Calderdale’s kindness and resilience will overcome this virus by working together to keep safe.

Sadly, the COVID-19 crisis is far from over. We have seen this locally in the last two weeks in particular, with Calderdale being named a national ‘area of concern’ and new local restrictions coming into place from Friday 31 July, following a sustained increase in our infection rates during that period.

This virus does not adhere to boundaries either of town, local authority or region, as we have seen. We will not seek to blame, to create division and scapegoat, particularly when we have seen so much loss, and when this affects those who often work in occupations such as our NHS, on transport, in social care and in our shops. Those who have kept the country going, and to whom we all owe a great debt of thanks. Thanks that we recognised on those Thursday evenings when we stood together as one.

We now need to stand together again. Working in partnership to adhere to the guidance, and promoting understanding of the threat we face. This gives us the best chance of beating this terrible pandemic.

There is no doubt that this is a really tough time for each and every one of us in Calderdale. And through the tough times, what we need most is to unite to beat whatever crisis is facing us.

We know that Calderdale is a kind place. A resilient place. A place with a strong track record of community spirit and inclusion. Just look at the amazing joint response to major flooding and the heart-warming stories of togetherness during the darkest days of lockdown. Remember how we bounced back from the last recession that had such an impact on our towns and businesses. The recurring theme shining through is the compassion and determination to be as one, which defines Calderdale.

We know that people responded brilliantly when we went into lockdown, and the efforts we all took together at the start of the pandemic helped to keep the infection rate low in Calderdale. We are grateful for the many personal sacrifices that people throughout the borough have made to protect each other. Our Muslim community showed great dignity last week when, just before Eid al-Adha, an event as important as Christmas is to those of Christian faith, restrictions were introduced, which led to immediate cancellation of plans. We thank our Muslim community for the understanding that they showed, and continue to show.

We have worked closely with our communities over recent days, and it is so positive to see the vast majority of people are following the guidance. When this is not happening we will seek to educate, engage and if necessary use powers available to us. We hope and believe this will rarely be necessary. The action we take today will help to reduce the spread of the virus and keep Calderdale out of a much stricter local lockdown.

Now is not the time for blame or division. It’s a time to use our strong diversity and inclusion to support each other and to keep the most vulnerable safe.

We must all continue to work together as a whole community.

We have done this before, we can do it again.


This joint statement is from Place Leaders in Calderdale:

  • Cllr Tim Swift, Leader, and Robin Tuddenham, Chief Executive – Calderdale Council
  • Philip Lewer, Chair, and Owen Williams, Chief Executive Officer – Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust
  • Angela Monaghan, Chair, and Rob Webster, Chief Executive Officer – South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Dr Steven Cleasby, Chair, and Neil Smurthwaite, Interim Chief Officer – NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Cara Walton, Chair – Youth Council, and Krish Nair – Member of Youth Parliament
  • Nadeem Mir, Chair – Calderdale Council of Mosques
  • The Revd Canon Hilary Barber, Vice Chair – Calderdale Interfaith Council
  • Catherine Rutter, Managing Director, Connect Community Banking – Lloyds Banking Group
  • Adrian Furness, Claims and Operations Director – Covea
  • Jeremy Hall, Chairman and Managing Director – Dean Clough
  • Chief Superintendent Richard Whitehead – West Yorkshire Police Calderdale Division
  • Damian Brown, Calderdale District Commander – West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service
  • Steve Duncan, Chair – Voluntary and Community Sector Chief Officers Forum
  • John Rees, Principal and Chief Executive – Calderdale College
  • George Paterson, Director of Property Services – Together Housing

More information:

As COVID-19 is still within our community, we should all continue to keep at least two metres away from people outside our households wherever possible, wash our hands(external link) with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching our face and follow the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it(external link)’ guidance to help keep ourselves and others safe. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should stay at home and book a test(external link) as soon as possible, within five days of the symptoms starting. Please wear a face covering when travelling on public transport or in a taxi. It is also recommended that people wear face coverings whenever they are indoors with people who are not part of their household or bubble.

For up-to-date and reliable information about COVID-19, use trusted sources such as: link) link)

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