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Government reveals extra coronavirus cash for Norfolk and Suffolk councils

PUBLISHED: 13:08 17 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:08 17 July 2020

Norfolk County Council's County Hall headquarters, with Andrew Jamieson, the cabinet member for finance inset. Picture: Norfolk County Council/Neil Perry

Norfolk County Council's County Hall headquarters, with Andrew Jamieson, the cabinet member for finance inset. Picture: Norfolk County Council/Neil Perry

Norfolk County Council/Neil Perry

An extra £7.6m of a government pot to ease pressures councils face due to coronavirus has been earmarked for Norfolk.

But leaders at Norfolk County Council, while welcoming the extra cash, warn it will not tackle the longer-term financial pressures facing the authority.

The government announced two weeks ago that a further £500m would be available to local councils up and down the country to respond to spending pressures triggered by coronavirus and their response to it.

Today, the government announced how much each council would get.

As well as £6m more for Norfolk County Council, there is just over £301,000 for Norwich City Council, almost £300,000 for West Norfolk Council and about £4.7m for Suffolk County Council.

Andrew Jamieson, cabinet member for finance at Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk County Council.Andrew Jamieson, cabinet member for finance at Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council will get nearly £238,000, Breckland Council a little over £230,000, South Norfolk close to £200,000, North Norfolk £185,000 and Breckland almost £174,000.

The £6m for Norfolk County Council takes the total Norfolk County Council has had in the three tranches of government cash to just shy of £50m.

Before that extra £6m, the Conservative-controlled council had said it was facing an £18.1m shortfall between what the government had given in relation to COVID-19 and its costs/lost income due to the virus.

Andrew Jamieson, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for finance, said: “While many elements of our COVID-19 response are ongoing and the total cost to the council in lost income is yet to become clear, today’s announcement of £6m in additional funding for Norfolk is welcome.

“I have always been upfront about the severity of the financial challenge COVID-19 poses for Norfolk, and these funds, coming as part of the third round of support for local government’s response to the virus, brings Norfolk County Council’s total funding from government so far to almost £50m.

“We will continue to talk with the government about what is needed for a truly sustainable funding settlement over the coming months.”

Local government secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Councils are playing a vital role in our national fight against coronavirus, providing a lifeline for so many and supporting communities at a time when they need it most.

“That’s why we are giving them an extra £500m – taking our total additional funding provided to £4.3bn – and today I am setting out how this will be allocated to councils fairly based on the pressures they have told us they are facing.

“This comes on top of the co-payment scheme announced last week that will compensate councils for irrecoverable income losses from sales, fees and charges.”

That scheme will compensate councils for irrecoverable income losses from sales, fees and charges. They will be expected to absorb the initial 5pc of losses compared to planned income from these sources.

After that, there will be a cost splitting arrangement where 75p in every pound of relevant losses will be compensated for by the government.

MORE: ‘Difficult decisions’ may be needed as council faces £118m funding gap


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