SUMMARY: Mayor Andy Burnham holds his latest press conference on coronavirus situation in Greater Manchester


“We can continue to meet the Covid challenge”

Final q from me, then they end.

How worried is he about the prospect of a Client Earth legal challenge to his clean air plan?

I would tell Client Earth to work with us.

What GM is offering is the largest clean air zone in the country; it’s ambitious but it’s fair, he said.

It is a major undertaking that will require a lot of effort.

On the other side of the Client Earth argument, there will be people who say it goes too far, so the leaders here have to balance it.

He reiterates that he believes they can achieve a consensus among the parties at the local level, provided the government provides funds for the scrapping.

Everyone wants cleaner air, he says.

We all want the same.

He again suggests that he could start calling it a “clean air tax” if the government doesn’t come up with the money.

The press conference is coming to an end.

Today’s Covid statistics represent a “steady state” in terms of monitoring the Covid image, he says, which is what he will now stand for when he updates us weekly. (I hope for my own sanity this turns out to be the case.)

There will be a “clear and consistent voice in government” with regards to what is happening on the ground.

I hope we have put the national debate in a better position for all councils.

We can create a sense of partnership in the future between the local and the national, he adds: “We can continue to meet this challenge.”

And that’s it – thanks for following.


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