Local authority leaders have urged the Government to meet all of the extra costs councils incur during the pandemic.
Responding to the new Tier 4 restrictions, which currently affect London and the South East, the Local Government Association (LGA) said that councils were continuing to work ‘tirelessly’ to support communities through the crisis.
However, the LGA also warned that local authorities needed ‘urgent confirmation’ about whether more money would be made available to help them support local businesses.
‘Government grants, distributed to small businesses by councils, have been a lifeline for those struggling and worried about the future,’ said Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board.
‘Councils need urgent confirmation about whether more money will be made available in Tier 4 alert level areas for them to support local businesses through one of their most important trading periods.
‘Clarity is also needed on whether councils in other Tier Alert levels have been given enough funding to provide business support grants.’
Cllr Hudspeth added: ‘Driving strong local action and tougher restrictions will add further pressure to already over-stretched council budgets. It remains imperative that the Government meets, in full, all the extra costs councils incur as a result of leading communities through the pandemic and income losses they suffer as a result.
‘This new variant of the virus will undoubtedly be causing stress and worry for us all. It is incredibly important that everyone continues to play their part in stopping the spread. This means all of us continuing to follow the guidance, self-isolate if necessary, wear a face covering and wash our hands regularly.’
Image: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com.