A PENSIONER councillor has shared his family’s experiences of the coronavirus test and trace system and called for individuals giving false information to be prosecuted.

Barrowford Independent Ken Turner spoke out as Pendle Council called for the government to shift resources from the national scheme to local authorities to improve its efficiency.

The 77-year-old told how the borough’s testing station in Nelson got results for his wife Hazel, 76, when the national system failed.

He intervened in a debate at Thursday’s full council meeting on a motion put forward by Liberal Democrat Cllr Alice Mann condemning the ‘chaos in the national test, trace and isolate systems for Covid-19’.

Cllr Turner said: “One of my close relatives used to be a practice nurse until she retired and she now works for test and trace where she actually takes the phone calls.

“A vast number that come in are people who give false phone numbers or non-existent phone numbers and are unobtainable to be contacted. She spends days with nothing to do because she is not getting the information.

“One of my sons who lives in another part of Lancashire was in contact with someone who had a positive test for Covid. He tried to get a test. He could not get through. He drove to Lancaster from his home, could not get a test done there. He then went to Preston. Could not get a test done there.

“I must applaud Pendle. Mrs Turner, who had to go to hospital for treatment but was told she had to have a negative test before, applied for a home test. The home test arrived, was completed and was posted. That was six weeks ago and there has still not been a reply.

“I then took Mrs Turner to Carr Road without an appointment and they were only too eager to give us both a test. In Pendle the opportunities to have tests and a response is exemplary. You get the reply usually within 24 to 36 hours.

“Perhaps the government may like to insist that everyone who goes for a test gives some identification and if they do give false information they should then be prosecuted.”

The motion was passed despite Tory group leader Cllr Nadeem Ahmed branding it ‘having a bash at the government’.