6 April 2021
The Green Party has called on the government to decentralise its calamitous test and trace system and hand over control of the system to local authorities. The demand comes soon after Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley led the party’s call for a public inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic.
Scarborough Green Party Councillor Neil Robinson said: “Greens have always trusted in our local services. How many lives would have been saved if the Conservative government had taken our advice and funded local public health teams to trace and contain the coronavirus? Instead, they gave wasteful contracts to cronies who have utterly failed.
“What the government claimed would be an effective and efficient way to handle the coronavirus pandemic with the test-and-trace system turned out to be a disaster for the nation. It failed to prevent thousands of unnecessary fatalities and suffering for so many Britons, and prolonged the periods of lockdown with associated job losses.
“Movement restrictions are soon to be relaxed and we still don't have a resilient system in place. We must also ensure that people who are required to isolate receive financial help to allow them to comply. It is paramount the government is fully held to account for this failure, and that people don’t forget the pain this nation has experienced at their hands despite the vaccination programme's continued success.
“Greens have always stuck to the principle of a fully public and locally accountable health service. We urge the Government to decentralise health services and give more funding and power to local authorities, who best understand the health needs of their local communities.
"Privatisation of the NHS and the internal market must be ended. The current failure of our private sector provided test and trace service shows that profit-based healthcare does not adequately protect everyone.”