Coronavirus: LGA statement on local government funding crisis

“Extra funding for councils will be helpful but they will need up to four times the funding they have been allocated by government so far."


town hall

Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Resources Board, said:

“Local government continues to lead local efforts to beat this virus but is being stretched to the maximum. Many councils continue to face spiralling cost and demand pressures at the same time as seeing a huge drop in income. This is unsustainable.

“Extra funding for councils will be helpful but they will need up to four times the funding they have been allocated by government so far.  We are working with councils to provide the most robust evidence to government on the financial challenges they face. Their latest monthly returns should show the impact of a full month of cost pressures and income reductions and the impact of lower council tax and business rates collection rates.

“The Secretary of State promised that councils will get all the resources they need to cope with this pandemic. This commitment must be rock-solid and include the full cost to councils of meeting COVID-19 pressures and to keep services running normally and compensation for all lost income. This needs to be explicitly guaranteed by government and demonstrated with ongoing and consistent funding in the weeks and months ahead.

“Without this, councils and the services our communities rely on will face an existential crisis. Some councils have warned that they will soon face the prospect of Section 114 reports. This would lead to spending blocks and in-year cuts to the vital local services that are supporting communities through this crisis and the national effort to beat this deadly disease.”