Charnwood Borough Council leader Jonathan Morgan has welcomed the Government’s announcement to provide extra funding to councils on the frontline of supporting communities during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Government last week announced an extra £1.6bn for all councils to help them respond to coronavirus pressures across all the services they deliver.
Charnwood is due to receive £1.85 million on top of the £75,000 it received in an earlier round of funding.
Cllr Morgan said it was good that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government had recognised the valuable work councils were doing to help residents and businesses.
He acknowledged that there were still funding challenges ahead for all local authorities.
Cllr Morgan said: “This is a vital injection of funding which will make sure we can continue helping our residents, communities and local businesses.
“The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on our national and local economy as well as our communities and demand for many of our services has increased while we have lost a significant amount of income from the closure of our leisure centres, Town Hall, car parks and markets.
“This funding will ensure we can continue to support people and operate critical services.
“The longer-term impact of Covid-19 on the Council, its services and the borough itself is far from clear and there are likely to be significant challenges ahead.
“We are developing a recovery plan for the borough and will be working with communities, businesses and partners to lead Charnwood back to where it belongs, with thriving communities and a strong local economy. It won’t be easy, but together we will get there.”
Cllr Morgan thanked local MPs, the Local Government Association and the District Councils’ Network for stating the case for more funding for councils.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic the Council has launched a campaign called Charnwood Community Action with John Storer Charnwood and other local groups, town and parish councils to co-ordinate support for people in need. The Council has pledged £126,000 to the campaign. So far it has had contact with hundreds of residents and delivered over 1,300 parcels of food and supplies to people.
The Council has also distributed more than £23 million of business grants to around 2,000 local firms in just a few short weeks and given advice and support on issues such as council tax to many residents. It is also providing more support for people sleeping rough or at risk of sleeping rough.