Local Government Finance: Coronavirus

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 17th September 2020.

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Photo of Lord Greaves Lord Greaves Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure the provision of sufficient funding for district councils in two-tier areas to support (1) the public health work of their environmental health staff and departments as part of the work on COVID-19, and (2) tracking, tracing and isolating work in partnership with Government.

Photo of Lord Greaves Lord Greaves Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assistance they have provided to local authorities (1) to maintain existing services, and (2) to temporarily backfill posts in areas such as environmental and public health while existing staff are redeployed to work connected with COVID-19.

Photo of Lord Greenhalgh Lord Greenhalgh Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government), The Minister of State, Home Department

Councils across the country are supporting communities, protecting the most vulnerable and helping the NHS in our efforts to combat Covid-19. We are providing local authorities with an unprecedented package of support, allocating £4.3 billion of support for?spending?pressures, including £3.7 billion of un-ringfenced grants and the £600 million Infection Control Fund. In total, the government has provided £5 billion in cashflow measures and almost £28 billion in additional funding for local communities, to ensure they can meet the unique pressures that the covid-19 pandemic has placed upon them. I believe these measures amount to a comprehensive package of support.

The Secretary of State has also announced measures to address lost income, including:

  • A co-payment scheme to cover irrecoverable Sales, Fees and Charges income in 20/21 with the Government covering 75% of losses beyond 5% of planned income
  • Phased repayment of Collection Fund deficits over the next 3 years
  • A commitment to support the sector through an apportionment of irrecoverable Council Tax and Business Rates losses, to be agreed at the Spending Review.

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