At the councillor questions time last Harrow council cabinet meeting, councillor Almond (photo) asked: “What evidence do you have that closing places of worship has helped to stop the spread of Covid?”
Pity Almond did not know that there are no direct measures to gauge the impact of closing places of worship on stopping the Covid-19 spread, except that public gatherings during the COVID-19 run serious risk of spreading the infection.
Leader of the council, councillor Graham Henson, who answered the question was gentle enough not to reject Cllr Almond’s wasteful question.
In pointing out that the council makes well informed statements regarding the Covid-19 situations in Harrow, Cllr Henson said “I do know that over Christmas, as I mentioned earlier, the rates were escalating exponentially. And it’s that argument we used with the Minister for Education as why schools should remain closed rather than opening up”.
“And this is where the faith leaders agreed that reducing down the level of contact amongst the population is the only way that reduces the spread of the virus. So all of this is evidence based. It’s all available online on the government websites. All of it is factual information that shows what happens”.
“There’s no single thing that can slow this virus, and it’s a multitude of things and one of those was reducing contact between people which is the most effective” he added.
Councillor questions time at the cabinet meetings is a valuable democratic opportunity to hold the administration to account but this limited time must be used sensibly.