Dan Peters 28 April 2020

Districts win in latest allocations

Districts win in latest allocations image

Districts have won a significantly higher share of funding in the latest allocations of government cash to help councils cope with coronavirus.

It comes after chairman of the District Councils’ Network, Cllr John Fuller, highlighted the importance of his members receiving more funding from the second pot of £1.6bn after his members were hit hard by plummeting income.

Counties including Cambridgeshire, Cumbria and Derbyshire CCs all received less than in the first allocation despite suffering from soaring expenditure and figures from the County Councils’ Network suggesting coronavirus was adding an extra £1bn to care costs across its membership.

Whitehall said the latest assessment of the challenges individual councils were facing, conversations with local authorities and population figures had informed the allocation. 

Local government secretary Robert Jenrick said more than 70% of district councils would receive an additional £1m ‘and in many cases significantly more’.

He added the latest allocation was decided ‘in the fairest way possible, recognising the latest and best assessment of the pressures’.

Chief executive of the Local Government Association, Mark Lloyd, said: 'We continue to press the case that the Government should cover the loss of income local authorities are experiencing due to the pandemic, as well all increased costs resulting from our COVID-19 response.'

Cllr David Williams, chairman of the County Councils Network, said: 'Any additional resources in the current crisis is welcome as counties battle the impact of COVID-19 in our communities and continue to deliver essential services our residents rely on.

'Nonetheless, we are disappointed that our member councils have seen a disproportionate change in their share of allocations compared to the previous £1.6bn. Their share of funding has reduced on average by 29% for county councils and also significantly for many of our unitary members, despite our councils being responsible for the single most important local government service responding to Coronavirus: adult social care.'

The Government also confirmed that the fair funding review and 75% business rates retention will no longer be implemented in 2021/22 to ‘allow councils to focus on meeting the immediate public health challenge posed by the pandemic’.

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