Friday, January 21

Askøy mayor disappointed with the government: – They should have been clearer

CRITICAL: Askøy mayor Siv Høgtun is not impressed with the new government.

Askøy mayor Siv Høgtun (H) believes the government is failing the municipalities. Other Vestland rapporteurs are also critical.


After a meeting with the Minister of Health Ingvild Kjerkol had with the country’s mayors on Tuesday morning at 9, Askøy mayor Siv Høgtun (H) is upset about the outcome.

– It is positive that the government says that control is an overriding goal in the pandemic. The national strategy is to gain control. That’s fine, but I’m disappointed that the government can not be clearer. They only give a recommendation for a bandage, they should have a bandage as a regulation, Høgtun writes in an SMS to VG.

She points out that Askøy municipality has already introduced a sanitary napkin order as a local measure where it is not possible to keep a distance of one meter, but experiences that the inhabitants do not follow the measure precisely because it has “only” been introduced locally.

Calls for national measures

– We see that the order does not have good compliance. Therefore, we needed national authorities to be clearer and tighten up. And guest registration for restaurants is also not difficult to achieve if you introduce it nationally, says Høgtun.

The Askøy mayor is also reacting to a restructuring that gives the state administrator a new role.

– The state administrator gets a completely new role. The state administrator will take more responsibility for the region and supposedly make a package of measures if the infection is high. If the municipality does not want to be part of the package of measures that the state administrator makes, the Minister of Health must have a role and be able to order us to follow the package, Høgtun explains.

– It’s getting too cumbersome. The government shifts the responsibility to the state administrator, but it is the municipalities that, together with the state administrator, must make the regulations.

Tom Georg Indrevik (H), mayor of Øygarden municipality. Photographed here earlier this year at the new administration building for Northern Lights.

Øygarden mayor Tom Georg Indrevik believes that it is positive that “we now see that measures are being taken to clarify requirements regarding quarantine and testing”. He also feels that the strategy has been clarified by the government.

– But it is disappointing that they can not introduce national injunctions on bandages – which is a small intrusive measure. In addition, I miss the support measure for the business community where the municipalities have taken responsibility for introducing strict measures, Indrevik tells VG.

– It is important that we get security

Bjørnafjorden mayor Trine Lindborg (Labor Party) talks about a clear Minister of Health who at the meeting emphasized that there must be ongoing assessments of measures.

– There is not as high an infection everywhere and we received clear messages about vaccination rate. It is good that the government is also clear that the staffing situation is demanding in many places and that retired health personnel can now work without a reduction in their pension, Lindborg writes in an SMS to VG.

– In addition, there were guidelines about health students’ role. For us in the municipalities, it is absolutely essential that we get security for compensation for increased expenses for handling, and we were clearly made clear to the government today.

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