THE leader of Oxfordshire County Council has said on national TV that he is glad the Government is handing some control for the new coronavirus track-and-trace system to local authorities.

Conservative Ian Hudspeth implied that the Government had previously overlooked local outbreaks.

Speaking on BBC News Channel he said: "It's really important for the local area, and it's good news that the Secretary of State has recognised that and brought in local government, because we have got experience in public health, sexual transmitted diseases, emergency planning... and this is something local councils do on a regular basis.

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"Of course this is on a far greater scale, but having that local knowledge will really help to understand if there is a flare-up, and where it is, and what can be done about it, whereas at a national level it is sometimes overlooked locally."

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The Government is giving £300 million to local authorities such as Oxfordshire County Council for them to help co-ordinate the NHS Test and Trace scheme.

Under the project, anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be asked to give the names and phone numbers of people they have been within two metres of for over 15 minutes in the past two days, and those people will then be contacted and asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

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Speaking live from his constituency in Bladon, Mr Hudspeth – who is chairman of the Local Government Association's community wellbeing board – was also asked if he worried that the government's request for people to follow their civic duty was undermined by the recent Dominic Cummings controversy.

He replied: "I think people will do the civic duty. People understand exactly what should happen if they are told to go into self isolation."