County Durham faces £50million shortfall as crisis hits council coffers

Coronavirus could to blow a £50million hole in County Durham’s finances.

Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 4:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 5:10 pm
Picture c/o PA

Plummeting income from council tax, rents and other fees, combined with rising costs, have left councils facing holes in their spending plans but to the impact of COVID-19.

But despite government promises to do ‘whatever is necessary’ to back local authorities, including a cash fund worth £3.2 billion, many, including Durham County Council are still facing shortfalls.

John Hewitt, the county council’s corporate director of resources, said: “We currently estimate the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Durham County Council will be £50 million up to March 2021.

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“To date, we have received Government funding of £33 million, resulting in a £17 million shortfall and are continuing to lobby for additional funding for both 2020/21 and beyond.

“The council presently holds a General Reserve of £23.7 million and at this stage is not planning an emergency budget.”

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