Minister admits Welsh councils could face financial problems due to coronavirus as government prepares to help
A Welsh Government minister has acknowledged that councils could face financial problems come the end of the year as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
The government has already made £30m worth of support available to local authorities in Wales as well as bringing other payment dates forward, including revenue support grants and business rates relief.
Local Government Minister Julie James has also pledged that it will fund the restoration of any council facilities used as temporary coronavirus field hospitals once the pandemic is over.
Flintshire Council has also permitted an indoor skate park to be demolished at Deeside Leisure Centre to make room for patients with symptoms of COVID-19.
Ms James admitted though that authorities could face difficulties further down the line at a press conference held today.
Answering a set of questions posed by sister site North.Wales, she said: “Clearly, we’re going to have a problem at the other end of the financial year, and we’ve got a piece of work being done by the treasurers to help us understand what that might look like.
“We certainly want to help councils with that. The UK Government will certainly be someone we’ll have to work closely with to see what councils are going to do across the UK about the current call on their services.
“(We’ve been asked) where local authorities have made their facilities such as leisure centres available for conversion into field hospitals, will we help them restore them to their original condition?
“The answer to that is, of course we will, there will be a national effort once we’re out of this to put things back to normal as soon as possible.”
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