Fair Funding of Local Services During and After Coronavirus

Brocks Hill Park, Oadby

Photo:Brocks Hill Country Park.. cc-by-sa/2.0 - Β© David Hallam-Jones - geograph.org.uk/p/4231370

Covid-related costs and loss of income have meant huge financial pressures for EVERY council in the country.

A March 2021 report from the National Audit Office shows that for most councils, the government has failed to keep its promise to fund the cost of the pandemic.

Oadby and Wigston Borough Council have faced lost income and extra costs from closed leisure centres and pools, long stay parking and extra staff time to help coordinate support for local businesses and vulnerable residents.

The strain of the pandemic on council finances has been made worse by a fall of nearly a fifth in the money available for councils over the last ten years. Money from central government has all but disappeared - we've all seen the affect on services rovided by both local councils: more pot-holes, self-service libraries, fewer staff in key areas like planning and highways and councils forced to charge to make ends meet.

Despite government promises a year ago to help councils through this difficult time, the extra money required has not appeared.

Most councils simply can't fill this funding gap from reserves. The last year has been a once-in-a-lifetime event and only the government has the financial resources to help councils keep local services up to scratch.

I/we the undersigned call on the Government to keep their pledge to do whatever is necessary to support councils in their response to coronavirus and to fairly and properly fund local services hit by budget cuts in recent years.

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