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Lancs Councils seek government reassurance that they will be fully reimbursed for the cost of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic

Lancs Councils seek government reassurance that they will be fully reimbursed for the cost of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic

by Danielle Thompson (May 2020)

LANCASHIRE Councils have written to the government to ask for reassurance that they will be fully reimbursed for the cost of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

The government recently 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 £6million compared to the first tranche of funding paid at the end of March. Lancashire is one of the worst hit areas in the country in respect of the reduction in its allocation.

The letter, which has been sent by the Lancashire Leaders on behalf of all the local authorities in Lancashire, explains how the county has risen to the challenge of maintaining essential services while also taking action to deal with the significant impact the virus has had on residents and businesses.

Actions include establishing Community Support Hubs in each of the county's 14 district and boroughs contacting almost 30,000 of the most socially or clinically vulnerable residents to determine what support they need, sourcing millions of items of Personal Protective Equipment to keep key workers safe and supporting the Social Care Sector in the county.

Councillor Geoff Driver CBE, leader of Lancashire County Council and chairman of the Lancashire Leaders group, said: "At the beginning of this crisis, the Government called upon all local authorities to play their part in responding to the impact of the pandemic.

“Collectively, we have done magnificently in extremely difficult circumstances, and are continuing to do so. In fact the Lancashire Resilience Forum, which all the county's local authorities support, is considered nationally as one of the most effective and has, in our view, provided decisive leadership in the early stages of the response to the outbreak.

“We are calling upon the Government to deliver on the promises which have been made and ensure a full reimbursement of all costs, whether additional expenditure or loss of income, arising from the impact of Covid 19, and also acknowledgement that these costs will be incurred over a lengthy period of time.

“It is vital we have the necessary funding to support individuals, businesses and wider community-based organisations through this period as well as help them make a sustainable recovery from the impact of Covid-19.

“The inescapable fact is that local government as a whole needs a much bigger injection of funds from government to cover the financial burden caused by COVID-19 which includes lost income and planned savings not being achieved as well as the huge increases in expenditure.”

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