AN MP is demanding clarity about extra support being given to Bolton after reports the borough will be categorised as as an area of “enduring transmission” for coronavirus.

Bolton South East's Yasmin Qureshi has criticised the way the news was leaked, which caused confusion among Bolton’s health bosses and town hall chiefs.

Under the plans, Bolton will get financial support, extra Covid-19 testing and help with vaccinations to help it cope with winter pressures, which are expected to be worse because of the pandemic.

Department of Health and Social Care experts are now working on a ‘package of tailored support for areas of enduring transmission for coronavirus’.This is expected to run until the end of March.

Councillors are expecting more details about the ‘surprise’ package next week.

The package is set to include additional testing capacity and targeted testing, support to maintain public health staffing, support for workplaces and businesses to be Covid-secure, vaccine programme support and cash to tackle long-term health inequalities.

The MP said: “Long before the pandemic health inequalities in the south east of Bolton have gone downhill. Some of my constituents have had to leave their homes, such as cleaners, drivers, and porters. Most of them haven’t got the privilege of working from home and don’t have cars. They are vulnerable and in the most need.

“They should have spoken to MPs to discuss where the money will come from and how much will be provided. It’s completely disrespectful.

“This Government is good at coming up with buzzwords and headline solutions, but when it comes to the nitty gritty and what this actually means, over how long, and why it can’t start now, they never give any information about what they are going to do.”

She also questioned the timing of the Universal Credit uplift withdrawal.

Bolton West MP Chris Green said: “It’s good news. We just have to wait to see how much, but it’s not the worst news.”

A report of the extra support was broken by Sky News on Wednesday, but it came as news to health and council chiefs.

Cllr Sue Baines, health cabinet member, says she is hoping more details will be revealed next week.