NO COVID marshals will be seen patrolling the streets of Romsey anytime soon, as a county council has confirmed there are no plans to deploy any in Test Valley.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Covid-secure marshals, who can be volunteers or existing council staff, would be introduced in towns and city centres to encourage the public to comply with coronavirus restrictions.

Now, community leaders across the borough have had their say on the news after Hampshire County Council (HCC) revealed there are "no current plans to deploy marshals in the Test Valley area".

Cllr Dorothy Baverstock, who represents Romsey Cupernham on the borough council, said: "The police will need all the help they can get with coronavirus, because the longer all of this goes on for the harder it will be.

"People are fed up now and another couple of months of this means it will only get more difficult for the police, especially when the bad weather arrives in the winter.

"I do think Covid marshals are needed and if the council could afford to employ people to help with coronavirus then they could make sure these people can help with other things too, which would give them a much more meaningful role."

However, Cllr Alan Dowden, who represents the Valley Park ward, backed HCC's move and claimed the authority "hasn't got the money" for these extra roles.

He said: "I don't think it is needed because the county council just hasn't got the money to fund these marshals and this is a matter for central Government, so they should use every facility they have got like the army.

"I heard the Government could bring in the army to help enforce coronavirus rules, but why were they not brought in earlier?

"If they are not fighting abroad at the moment then they should be helping the public because we are at war with coronavirus."

Deputy leader for TVBC, Cllr Nick Adams-King, said: "Hampshire County Council's public health department would know where to best direct their resources and if they have decided there is not the need in Test Valley then I would trust their judgement.

"In my experience around Romsey there have not been many coronavirus breaches, so I think it's best to direct resources into areas where there is a greater risk."

The Government's Cabinet Office has been contacted for comment.