3 April 2021
The Green Party has called on the government to decentralise its calamitous test and trace system and hand over control of the system to local authorities. The demand comes soon after Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley led the party’s call for a public inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic. 
Lewes District Green Party councillor Zoe Nicholson said:“Greens have always trusted in our local services. How many lives would have been saved if Matt Hancock had taken our advice and funded local public-health teams to trace and contain the coronavirus? Rather than giving wasteful contracts to his cronies who have utterly failed."
“What the government thought would turn out to be an effective and efficient way to handle the coronavirus pandemic in the test-and-trace system turned out to be a disaster for the nation, failing to prevent thousands of unnecessary fatalities and wider suffering for so many Britons.
“Movement restrictions will again be relaxed soon and we need to be sure that we have a resilient system in place to identify who is infected and isolate them from others. We also must ensure that people receive sick pay so that they can afford to do the right thing. It is paramount the government is fully held to account for this failure, and that people don’t forget the pain this nation has experienced at their hands despite the vaccination programmes continued success.
“Greens are the only party to have always stuck to the principle of a fully public and locally accountable health service. Now is a perfect opportunity for ministers to decentralise health services and give more funding and power to local authorities through a community-led healthcare system who best understand the health needs of their local communities.
“Ending privatisation of the NHS and the internal market must be enacted- the current failure of our private sector provided test and trace service shows that profit-based healthcare does not adequately protect everyone.”
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