The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has announced a new package of funding to support local governments during the coronavirus crisis. This new funding (£1.6 billion) means that local authorities will have received over £3.2 billion in financial support during this period. In addition to this, £2.6 billion in local authority payments of the Central Share of retained business rates have been deferred, and £850 million has been provided in upfront social care grants. This means that local governments have the immediate cash flow they need to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.
A broad summary of the support available in local areas during this period is outlined below:
• £3.2 billion in funding for local authorities to deliver essential frontline services
• £2.6 billion in deferred local authority payments of the Central Share of retained business rates
• £850 million upfront payment in social care grants this month
• 250,000 food boxes delivered so far to help shield those who are clinically vulnerable – funded directly by central Government
• £20 billion in business rates support and grant funding to help businesses manage their cashflow
• £10,000 grants for businesses eligible for Small Business Rates Relief and Rural Rates Relief
• Up to £25,000 for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, subject to their rateable value
• £3.2 million of initial emergency funding for local authorities to support rough sleepers, provided before the un-ringfenced funding
• £2 million additional funding to bolster domestic abuse helplines and online support
The Secretary of State continues to correspond regularly with local representatives in order to understand their specific concerns, whilst this new round of funding remains un-ringfenced so that local governments can respond efficiently and accurately to the needs of residents, and alleviate service pressures in their areas.