Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, has welcomed the news that East Riding Council has received a further £2.4 million from the Government in July, to take their total share of additional coronavirus funding to just over £21 million.
The new money comes as part of a £500 million package of un-ringfenced funding for councils up and down the country, to help them continue to deliver crucial frontline services and support those most in need.
Councils have been at the forefront of the community response to the coronavirus pandemic, with ERYC establishing a Covid-19 support hub for vulnerable people in need of essential food and medicine, alongside an Adult Social Care Incident Response Unit to proactively monitor and support care homes across the county.
At the same time as responding to an increase in demand for their services, councils have faced a hit to their finances – losing out on income through closed leisure centres, museums and car parks. Fewer local residents and businesses paying council tax and business rates has also reduced budgets.
In response to this, the Government has established a new scheme to reimburse councils for lost income – covering 75 pence for every pound lost, if losses are more than 5% of a council’s planned income. It has also spread tax deficits owed to the central government over three years instead of the usual one to help with cash flow.
Graham commented, “Councillors, directors and officials have really stepped up to the plate and played a heroic role in co-ordinating the local response to coronavirus along with other local bodies and community groups.
“Their support hub provided a single place for people in need to email or phone while self-isolating – co-ordinating the work of parish councils and local charities – while their support for care homes helped ensure that they never ran out of PPE despite coming close at times.
“All in all, the Government’s provided over £27 billion to support councils and the communities they serve, but I’d like to say a huge thank you for the work on the ground that has helped to keep people safe over the last few months.”
Communities & Local Government Secretary, Robert Jenrick, added: “Councils are playing a vital role in our national fight against coronavirus, providing a lifeline for so many and supporting communities at a time when they need it most.
“That’s why we are giving them an extra £500 million on top of the co-payment scheme that will compensate councils for irrecoverable income losses.”
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