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Leader voices 'frustration and anger' as Bolton hospitality sector remains closed

Sat, 26/09/2020

The leader of Bolton Council has voiced his frustration that the borough’s hospitality sector remains closed despite repeated calls for restrictions to be eased.

Cllr David Greenhalgh’s comments come as the government has confirmed that restaurants, cafes, and pubs in Bolton must continue to operate as takeaway only until further notice.

The restriction was among a series of COVID-19 measures introduced in the borough earlier this month in response to an increase in the local infection rate.

Cllr Greenhalgh has lead calls for Bolton to be brought back in line with other boroughs in Greater Manchester, were hospitality businesses are operating with table service in accordance with national guidelines.

He said:

“I feel incredibly frustrated and angry at this decision, and I know business owners who have had their doors close, will feel the same.

“I have lobbied ministers and civil servants all week, spoken out in national and local media, and I will continue to do so. This is about parity. Bolton has its hospitality shut down with rates at just over 100 cases per 100,000. Many boroughs have now surpassed those rates and yet their hospitality remains open.

“Our hospitality sector remains penalised and suffering job losses and the threat of closure, and I will continue to illustrate this unfairness when businesses can see other premises trading normally as little as a few hundred yards away across a borough boundary.

“This is unfair and the fight goes on for this sector to be allowed to reopen in a safe manner, as many did before with great innovation.

“Early next week, we will be publishing the help available to hospitality businesses and how they apply and we will assure that we get this financial help out to you as soon as we can, and I will continue to argue for more help to support you through this horrendous time.”