Crisis funding for Durham County Council now totals £38.1million

Durham County Council has now received a total of £38.1million from the Government to help it through the coronavirus crisis.

Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 3:42 pm
Dr Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council

Earlier in July, ministers revealed that a £500million pot would be handed out to local authorities, alongside a scheme to cover the proportion of councils’ lost income.

According to the latest allocations, County Durham will receive £4.9million from this tranche of funding, on top of some £33million it received in the previous two rounds.

While welcoming the extra cash, leader of Durham County Council, Cllr Simon Henig, has warned it may not be enough.

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“The Government funding that we have received so far has helped us to continue to prioritise key services such as social care and supporting social care providers through this difficult time,” he said.

“We have provided significant additional funding through our Area Action Partnerships and put arrangements in place for local members to use their budgets flexibly to support local communities through this unprecedented period.

“We are continuing to resource our community hubs to support people who need help and advice during these challenging times.

“The additional funding announced is of course welcome however the estimated costs and lost income from coronavirus in County Durham and across the North East exceed the funding that has so far been provided.

“We will continue to monitor the impact of lost income and additional expenditure over the coming weeks and months as the cost of dealing with Covid-19 will be dependent on the duration of our response and the recovery that we will need to put in place.”

Durham County Council received £18,588,256 in the first tranche of government Covid-19 funding and a reduced amount of £14,565,697in the second tranche.

The third tranche of funding takes the Covid-19 financial aid for County Durham up to £38,113,147.

Councils ‘playing vital role’

Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said : “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 £500million – taking our total additional funding provided to £4.3billion – and now I have set out how this will be allocated to councils fairly based on the pressures they have told us they are facing.

“This comes on top of the co-payment scheme announced last week that will compensate councils for irrecoverable income losses from sales, fees and charges.”

This scheme will see the Government cover authorities for 75p in every pound lost, where losses are more than 5% of planned income from sales, fees and charges.

The Local Government Association, which represents councils, described this as ‘a step in the right direction’.

It also repeated its call to the Government to meet all extra cost pressures and income losses from fees and charges and other sources, including commercial activity, in full.

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