Calderdale Council’s Labour leader Tim Swift is calling on the Prime Minster to honour promises made and fully fund the Council’s fight against the coronavirus.
Cllr Swift is joining Labour and other party council leaders from across the country in asking for a cast-iron guarantee that the Government will provide funding to fully meet extra costs and compensate for lost income.
“When the Covid19 crisis first began, Ministers told councils that money was no object and that we should do ‘what it takes’ to respond to the crisis and keep our communities safe.
“And that’s what we have done in Calderdale, moving quickly to redirect resources to support the most vulnerable and prioritise the services we need to support local people at this difficult time.
“We’ve invested in supporting front line social care, set up a volunteer hub and food distribution support, helped residents with new financial challenges, paid our millions of pounds of grants to local businesses, supported the homeless and rough sleepers, and worked to help health and care organisations get supplies of vital PPE in the face of the failing national distribution systems.
“All of this is costing money, and at the same time our income from services, from parking, from council tax and from business rates, is falling rapidly. Overall, our budget is set to take a £36m hit in the next twelve months – that’s almost one fifth of our net budget. So far, the extra Government grant we’ve received has been only £6m.
“Unless the Government gives us the cast iron guarantee we are seeking, our ability to lead the response to the virus and keep our community safe will be undermined. We need these assurances now.”