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Keep your Covid promise to Southwark – Cllr Kieron Williams warns government ahead of council funding deal

16 December 2020

Ahead of Thursday’s Local Government Settlement, Cllr Kieron Williams is demanding Ministers keep their promise to Southwark council to fully reimburse the cost of Covid to our local authority – currently standing at £95.9m.

At the start of the crisis, Ministers promised to support councils to do ‘whatever is necessary’ to tackle the pandemic, however last month’s Spending Review saw no additional money to tackle the enormous Coronavirus funding blackhole facing councils this year – currently standing at £7.4bn.

Instead the Spending Review delivered:
A £1bn Council Tax rise facing every household in 2021
A public sector pay freeze
The likelihood of further cuts forced by the continued pressure on council budgets

Cllr Kieron Williams said,

“Coronavirus has hammered Southwark – but our council has done everything it can to combat the crisis from distributing PPE to supporting the most vulnerable with thousands of emergency food parcels. That’s been hugely expensive – Covid has cost Southwark £95.9 – but there’s no question it was the right thing to do.

“Back at the start of the crisis, Ministers promised to stand behind areas like ours to ensure that we never have to choose between the direct cost of Covid and vital local services – but now they are nowhere to be seen. At last month’s Spending Review, instead of additional support we got a £1bn council tax rise and a public sector pay freeze.”

“At this week’s local government settlement, Ministers must return to their promise. Our council must have the resources to tackle Covid and keep providing for our community. So my message to this government is simple – don’t break your promise to Southwark, don’t abandon our community in hour of need.”


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