23 June 2020

Council launches petition over coronavirus funding promise

Council launches petition over coronavirus funding promise image

Redbridge Council has launched a petition urging the Government to honour its promise to fully compensate local government for all Covid-19 related costs.

The council said it took the Government ‘at their word’ that they would be compensated for the cost of keeping residents safe during the pandemic.

The crisis has cost the council more than £60m but it has only received £15.7m in extra funding so far, leaving it with a £45m financial black hole.

Leader of the council, Jas Athwal said: ‘We stepped up during the national crises caused by Covid-19 and put in place essential services to protect and support our residents. Despite incredibly pressurised circumstances, we were agile, able to meet local need and effective.

’It is outrageous that the Government is now withholding almost our entire annual budget for council services at a time when our residents are really struggling. They must honour their promise to properly compensate us.’

An MHCLG spokesperson said: 'We’ve given councils an unprecedented package of support, including £3.2bn emergency funding, to tackle the pressures they have told us they’re facing, and on 15 June we announced we are working on a comprehensive plan to ensure councils’ financial sustainability over the coming year.

'We will continue to work closely with councils as they support their communities through this national emergency.'

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Participatory budgeting

Evgeny Barkov explains what participatory budgeting means and how it can reveal what citizens need.
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