Posted: Sat 18th Apr 2020

Welsh Government to get extra £95 million to spend on public services in wake of COVID-19 pandemic

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Apr 18th, 2020

The coronavirus outbreak has left councils in Wales facing £33m per month in additional costs according to the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA).

The Welsh Government is now set to receive an additional £95 million to spend on public services.

As a result of the UK Government’s £1.6bn funding boost for councils across England, Wales will receive the £95 million consequential via the Barnett Formula.

WLGA Leader Cllr Andrew Morgan, said: “The UK Government’s announcement today is recognition of the essential role of councils across the UK and the £95m consequential is a welcome contribution to the fight against Coronavirus in Wales.

Councils’ work across the country has been nothing short of remarkable in recent weeks, including the role of our brilliant care workers who are essential to ease the huge pressure on the NHS.

But councils are facing significant extra costs, £33m per month in loss of income and soaring demand pressures due to the crisis.

Councils should not have to introduce more cuts to plug the funding gap. It’s vital that local services get this money to continue to help protect our precious health service.”

Welsh Government’s decision to give council an advance on core funding instalments has helped cash flow.

Leaders have appreciated regular dialogue with Welsh Government ministers to co-ordinate and share concerns and are similarly looking forward to the opportunity to speak with a Minister from the Wales Office on Monday.

We’re pleased that the Welsh Government recognises the scale of the pressures facing councils and has joined councils to call on the UK Government to make good on budget shortfalls in-year, and echo the call across the UK for more funding to local government from the UK Chancellor.”

Commenting on the new funding, Mark Isherwood AM, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Communities, Local Government and North Wales, said:

“Our local councils are on the frontline, not just in the battle against Covid19, but all year round delivering essential services to local residents.

In the last few weeks brave council staff such as bin collectors, care workers, teachers, housing officers and so many more, as well as others in the independent sector such as our heroic car home staff, have been putting their lives at risk to enable key services to continue and that the most vulnerable people in our communities are looked after.

I would like to thank them all for their tireless work.

This additional £95 million will go a long way to support them and I hope the Welsh Government gives this money directly to councils for them to support key services in both the council and independent sectors in their collective fight against Covid19 at this dark hour.”

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