Local Government Finance: Coronavirus

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 7th October 2020.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Shadow Minister (International Trade)

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on ensuring local authorities can meet the additional costs arising as a consequence of the covid-19 outbreak in the financial year 2021-22; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Councils are at the front line as we continue to tackle this pandemic and we are determined that they have the resources they need to respond to the pandemic in their areas. That is why we’ have given councils an unprecedented £4.8 billion to deal with the pandemic, comprising £3.7 billion of un-ringfenced grants and over £1.1 billion for the Infection Control Fund. In total, over £28 billion has been committed to local areas to support councils, businesses and communities across Government.

We are currently undertaking a programme of engagement with the sector, which includes our ongoing financial monitoring survey and direct contact with councils and their representatives, local leaders and Chief Executives to understand the challenges and pressures experienced by councils from the Covid-19 outbreak.

We recognise that?even with?the?considerable support already provided, there will be?individual authorities with either unique circumstances or residual? issues resulting in unmanageable pressures.? We would ask that any local authority who is faced with an unmanageable pressure or is concerned about their future financial position should approach MHCLG for discussion.

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