MORE than 3000 Halton residents have signed a petition urging the Council and the Government to remove the borough from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

The petition follows the agreement between the Government and Mayor of Liverpool Steve Rotherham to place the city and its boroughs into Tier 3 restrictions.

This decision was made on the advice of The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) in the face of rapidly rising case numbers and hospital admissions in the region.

The petition, entitled ‘Take us out of the Liverpool City Region and put us on medium lockdown where we belong!’, argues that Halton and the wider Runcorn area is part of Cheshire as opposed to Liverpool.

This has been a contentious point for residents since the Council’s decision to join the Liverpool Combined Authority in 2014 following a public consultation of only 98 people, out of which 70 were supportive.

The wider public were not permitted to vote.

Halton resident Nathan Fitzpatrick said: “Over the past few years the sentiment has been bubbling and the tier system has finally caused people to be a lot more vocal in their dissatisfaction.

“Compared to the Liverpool statistics, we're nowhere near in the same ballpark for shutting down the entirety of Halton's economy.”

He also pointed out that Halton is part of the Halton and Warrington Hospital Trust as opposed to the Liverpool one. Many businesses are also angered by the current circumstances, especially pubs who have been forced to close again.

Manager of The Halfway House Mandy Schon said: “We’re just gutted, not happy about it at all and as far as I’m concerned we’re Cheshire and always have been.”

She added: “I just think it’s unfair that we have to close and you’ve got the pubs which do food and supposedly can open.”

Aside from business individual livelihoods are also at stake in Halton as a result of the restrictions.

Ms Schon said she is worried about the significant decrease in her wages, which depended on a commission of the sales, following the pub’s closure.

Mr Fitzpatrick added: “No one disputes the severity of Covid-19 but unfortunately, we've been lumped into a crippling lockdown to protect an NHS trust which local residents can't access.”

Sensing the growing frustration of residents, Halton MP Derek Twigg confronted Boris Johnson about the issue last week.

Mr Twigg said: “Halton has a lower rate of infection than a number of other areas that are not in the highest restriction rate, so can I ask him why is Halton in the highest restriction rate when others are not?”

To which the PM responded: "Our objective remains unchanged, which is to get the R down in his constituency and elsewhere whilst keeping education open and keeping our economy going.”

Halton Borough Council has also upheld the restrictions, stating that the weekly rate of positive cases remains ‘very high’.

To sign the petition click here