Published May 6, 2020 at 14:33
The leader of Rossendale Council is joining other Lancashire local authorities in calling for the Government to reassure them they will be fully reimbursed for the cost of dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak.
Earlier this week, the Government announced a second allocation of money for Lancashire to support the efforts being made to keep residents, especially the most vulnerable, safe and protected.
However the amount that has been given to the county has left the councils deeply disappointed as their share of the funding has reduced by £6 million compared to the first tranche of funding paid at the end of March.
Councils in some other areas of the country have not had a similar reduction in funding.
CouncIl leader Alyson Barnes said:
“Councils like Rossendale have been at the forefront of coronavirus response. We have managed to keep essential services going, protected the most vulnerable, supported our business and provided leadership for our areas. Our staff have risen to the challenge as key workers.
“For example, we quickly set up Rossendale Connected which has supported hundreds of our borough’s most socially or clinically vulnerable residents to determine what help they need to get through the crisis. We have quickly processed millions of pounds’ worth of business grants to support our local businesses through these very challenging times.
“Councils have already seen their budget hugely reduced over the last 10 years and we were in tough times financially even before the coronavirus. Responding to this unprecedented crisis is having a huge impact on our finances. We shouldn’t be punished for meeting the coronavirus challenge head on or providing the leadership areas like ours need when such emergencies happen.
“This call has cross party support across Lancashire. I urge the government to fully reimburse local authorities in Lancashire for the cost dealing with the outbreak.”