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NEWS ROUNDUP: Mayor critical of “freedom day” & big plans for empty shops

 

Bristol Mayor critical of approach to freedom day and big plans announced for empty shops in Bath.

Bristol mayor Marvin Rees has criticised the government’s approach to Freedom Day. The Mayor has urged caution amid a “sharp and persistent” rise in Covid in the city, and asked residents to consider continuing to wear masks for the sake of others.

Addressing a cabinet meeting in City Hall on July 13, Mr Rees said: “We are now on a sharp and persistent increase in the number of cases.

“The overarching message, I think, for us in Bristol is to continue to be cautious, to engage in Covid-safe behaviours and, I would say, to continue to be gracious.

“I will just share a little bit of my frustration with the approach of national government. I think some of the imagery around Freedom Day could have been a little bit more sober and a little bit more measured.

“We do want the ability to interact with people, we do want to support businesses to open up, and we want to support jobs, but I think this kind of July fourth branding that’s gone on has not been helpful for the kind of caution that we need people to be engaging with.”

Breast cancer backlog
“Mega clinics” are being used to tackle what has been described as a “horrifying” backlog of breast cancer checks at a Bristol hospital. The poor performance has been blamed on a national shortage of radiologists that could soon be addressed by using artificial intelligence.
 
Empty shop solution
Empty shops in Bath could be converted into flats as the council looks to plug a £5million black hole caused by the pandemic. A separate project is looking to breathe new life into the high streets of Bath, Keynsham and Midsomer Norton by filling empty shops with art exhibitions or new commercial uses.


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