covid marshals - chief executive appointed

Cheshire East Council is unlikely to employ Boris Johnson’s Covid-secure “marshals” unless they are fully funded by Whitehall, says the authority.

The Prime Minister said last week that the so-called marshals would be used in towns and cities across the UK to help enforce the new ‘rule of six’ social distancing restrictions.

However, there has been a lack of clarity over who will pay for them and those already working in some areas have no power to enforce rules.

Cheshire East Council has made it clear it will not be considering the use of such marshals until clarity over funding has been issued.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Cheshire East Council said: “The Prime Minister announced last week that Covid-secure marshals will be introduced in towns and city centres in England to help ensure social distancing rules are followed.

“However, questions still remain over how they will operate, what powers they will have and who will pay for them.

“We need the government to provide clarity and share the view of the Local Government Association, that any new responsibilities for councils in this area will have to be fully funded by Whitehall.”

Mr Johnson said marshals would be introduced and a register of environmental health officers – who councils could use for support – would be set up.

From today (September 14), police have new powers to break up and fine groups of more than six people.

The government said marshals can either be volunteers or existing members of council staff.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said “any new responsibilities for councils in this area will have to be fully funded”, but there has been no funding announced by government.

Some areas of the country have already introduced marshals – including Leeds and Cornwall.

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