I support Stourbridge remaining in Tier 3 although I fully understand how this is affecting the hospitality industry.
"I know that Stourbridge has lower infection rates than many other parts of the West Midlands but it does not exist in isolation. It is close to areas with much higher virus numbers.
"On a positive note, we are seeing a substantial drop in infection rates across many parts of the West Midlands but, as I said, hotspots are still out there and I think we need to see a consistent drop over larger parts of the region before we can move down a tier. These lower infection rates also show Tier 3 restrictions are working and saving lives, so why change now?
"I absolutely understand this is not good news for local pubs and restaurants as we approach Christmas but the balancing act must favour saving lives and protecting the NHS this winter, especially as we roll out a vaccine and see a path back to normal life in 2021.
“I would also like to ask people to really use their common sense and think long and hard about mixing households this Christmas. Please don’t take the risk if you have vulnerable family members just when the vaccine cavalry is riding over the hill. It would be a tragedy to lose lives at this late stage.
"I will only be seeing my elderly parents in their garden on Christmas Day for a mince pie and a glass of wine. It is heartbreaking to have made this decision but I believe it is the right one.
"However, I do understand everyone has different circumstances and needs and it is not for me to preach. I just ask for Stourbridge residents to think very carefully about what should happen. The Christmas rules are clear but it’s not mandatory to take advantage of them."