People living and working in Northumberland will benefit after the county council was given a share of £900m in additional Government funding for local councils.
The money will be used locally to help the council cover coronavirus-related costs and ensure it has the resources needed to keep providing key services as we battle the Covid pandemic.
It means Northumberland County Council has now received £37.89 million in direct extra support from the Government since the start of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the county will benefit from a share of a further £100m established to support council-run leisure centres across the country, which are proving key to helping the health and well-being of people in the area.
The new funding means local councils will have £1bn extra in funding this winter to help maintain vital services.
And the county’s cabinet member for Corporate Services said the Government support is proving crucial to people living in Northumberland as it means the council can continue to provide the essential services needed.
“The extra £3.16 million announced today is incredibly welcome. Like everywhere else in the country Northumberland’s finances have been hit as a result of this pandemic.
“As a council our priority has been to protect jobs and livelihoods but we’re also focussed on ensuring quality council services have been maintained. With initiatives like Northumberland Communities Together we have gone above other councils in ensuring that Northumberland residents don’t suffer more than they have to.”
The funding has not been ring-fenced, meaning local leaders will be able to determine how to spend the additional funding in order to best protect public health, local vulnerable people and the running of vital services. In total, over £4.6 billion of the £6.4 billion in additional government funding made available to councils has not been ring-fenced, reflecting the Government’s view that local authorities are best placed to determine local priorities.
This is the fourth announcement of extra direct support for local authorities since the start of the pandemic. It forms part of an unprecedented package of support for councils, which also includes up to £465 million through the new Local Alert Level system, £300 million to support Test and Trace and £30 million for enforcement and compliance. Councils can also claim funding through a compensation scheme for lost income from sales, fees and charges and further additional support will be made available to areas placed under Tier 3 restrictions.
Commenting, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said:
“Since the start of the pandemic, we have backed local councils with the funding they need to support their communities, protect vital services and recover lost income.
“This extra £1 billion funding will ensure that councils have the resources that they need over the winter and continue to play an essential role on the front line of our response to the virus while protecting the most vulnerable and supporting local businesses.”
Commenting, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
“It's vital that we keep ourselves fighting fit through the winter months and local authority leisure centres are crucial to this. This £100 million fund will help keep leisure centres across the country open. I urge leisure centres to bid for the money and people to make the most of these precious local facilities.”