Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive, Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) said:
“Today’s announcement from the Local Government Secretary should be welcomed and we look forward to seeing more of the detail about what is included in it.
More money for the councils that are carrying out the difficult and unprecedented job of supporting communities, getting businesses back on their feet and helping to keep the public safe throughout this pandemic is good. And, it is right that the Government is recognising the need to compensate councils for lost income. This announcement is better late than never but the Government could have acted earlier on this and avoided a lot of uncertainty across the sector.
There will be a debate about whether this additional funding support is enough. From our perspective, it doesn’t look like it. But the real problem here, is that we are plugging gaps rather than getting ahead of the situation. And, it’s happening in a strategic vacuum.
We still have no settled, sustainable, long-term plan for funding local government and vacillation from the Government as to what the role and function of local government is.
No one could have predicted Covid-19 and councils have done an amazing job in their response to the pandemic. However, we would have been better placed financially to cope with this crisis if we had started from firmer foundations.”