Council facing millions of pounds in lost income due to coronavirus
News | Rhys Williams | Published: 16:37, Friday June 19th, 2020.
Last updated: 16:37, Friday June 19th, 2020
Caerphilly County Borough Council is facing millions of pounds in extra costs and lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The council is estimating additional costs of £4.5 million for the first quarter of the financial year, with income loss predicted at £3.2 million.
Spending on social care, personal protective equipment (PPE), IT, childcare hubs and free school meals has increased as a result of Covid-19, a council report says.
The pandemic has also seen council income from leisure centres, tourism venues and school catering dry up.
The report states that if the pandemic was to continue for the medium to long term, the council would need to “lobby for additional funding, as the financial resilience of local authorities will come under increasing pressure”.
The report adds: “This will create a very difficult environment for local government where significant real-terms reductions in funding have been experienced over an extended period.”
However, the report praises the council’s response to Covid-19, saying: “The UK, Wales and our county borough are responding to the biggest challenge we have faced for some time.
“The flooding event we experienced earlier in the year, was significant and had a detrimental impact upon many in our communities, but we responded positively and promptly.
“Our latest challenge has been taken to another level. We have continued to provide much needed services to our people and we continue to protect our place.”
The report continues: “Our staff have been exemplary, and we owe a debt of gratitude to so many of them.”
Cllr Philippa Marsden, leader of the council, said the authority has “reshaped, reconfigured and responded positively” to the crisis.
Cllr Marsden added: “It’s impossible to mention all the achievements and efforts of staff over the past three months, but I want to thank the whole workforce for their commitment and dedication to serving our community during these troubled times.”
According to a report by Newport Council, the total lost income for local authorities in Wales was more than £90m for the first quarter of the financial year. Welsh Government has allocated £78m for local government loss of income.
Additional reporting by the Local Democracy Reporting Service
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