Sunderland Conservatives leader welcomes £1.6billion funding as Government hails 'unsung hero' council workers

The leader of Sunderland Conservatives has welcomed an extra £1.6billion from Government to help councils cope with the coronavirus crisis.

By Ross Robertson
Sunday, 19th April 2020, 3:31 pm
Updated Monday, 20th April 2020, 11:34 am

As well as the increased spending councils are facing to help combat the pandemic and keep vulnerable residents safe, authorities are also seeing a decline in income from leisure facilities, parking charges and other fees which usually go towards funding services for residents.

Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said the extra £1.6billion takes the total given to councils to help their communities through this crisis to over £3.2billion, which he said was an unprecedented level of additional financial support in recent times.

Conservative group leader Councillor Robert Oliver.

Robert Oliver, who leads the Conservative Group on Sunderland City Council, hailed the extra £1.6billion funding, which was announced on Saturday April 18.

He said: "Councils are on the frontline in fighting Coronavirus and this funding is deserved and welcome and comes in addition to a previous £1.6billion in extra funding to councils.

“There has never been any suggestion that councils would have to foot the entire bill themselves and they were only asked last week to make financial requests to the government.

“This is a matter that I discussed with council officers late last week and I fully support calls for adequate financing, but this is not a time for political games.”

Mr Jenrick MP said in his letter to councils: “I promised local government would have the resources they need to meet this challenge and today demonstrates my commitment to doing just that.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with local government and my priority is to make sure they are supported so they can continue to support their communities through this challenging time.

“Up and down the country council workers are the unsung heroes as we tackle this virus. They are in the front line of the national effort to keep the public safe and deliver the services people need. Never has this been more important and we are all rightly grateful for everything that they are doing.”

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