Police Commissioner at odds with Mayor Dave over Covid-19 statistics

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Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway is wiping away confusion spread about Covid-19 infections in Bedford.

In telling people to ‘stay home’, Dave Hodgson, Mayor of Bedford, said on television he had been asking for information but there was none available.

PCC Kathryn, who was also on TV said: “Dave Hodgson claimed there was no available health data. This is mischievous since the Directors of Public Health at local level sit within local authorities.

“In addition, any member of the public can check the current level of infections in their own postcode area via the BBC News daily top stories mobile phone app.

“Suggesting that health data is unavailable is simply untrue.

“In a health emergency, it is quite right that health authorities and not local councils or politicians take the decisions and lead us all.

“Councils and police receive all this information through the Local Resilience Forums and Strategic Coordinating Groups of course.”

Close examination of the statistics show that between March and May, 21 died people in the ‘Harpur’ council ward area, the highest in all the 20 areas of Bedford.

In May, 54 deaths in Bedford were linked to Covid-19, including those registered up to June 6, 2020.

A council spokesperson said: “We have looked into this and the higher number of deaths in Harpur ward sadly seems to reflect the age of the population in that ward.

“The number of elderly residents in Harpur is particularly high as the ward has many care homes and other care settings.”

The Labour councillors for the Harpur ward are Cllr Colleen Atkins and Cllr Louise Jackson.