County Durham faces £50million shortfall as crisis hits council coffers
Coronavirus could to blow a £50million hole in County Durham’s finances.
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.
“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.”