Gedling borough’s council leaders are warning they risk having to issue P45s to the ‘heroes that are helping local communities beat this virus’ unless funding to help the borough fight Covid-19 is quickly increased.
In a letter seen by Gedling Eye, dated Friday, April 17, council chiefs John Clarke and Michael Payne have called on the government to urgently ‘deliver on the promise’ to reimburse councils for the cost of fighting the virus’ otherwise the impact on the council will be ‘crippling’.
In the impassioned letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson the council leaders said ‘you, rightly, told us to do what it takes, and you would back us. Now we’re asking you to deliver on that promise’.
They added: ‘We need certainty, not uncertainty, leading to insolvency.’
The leaders have said that the council has already lost £832,000 of income in April, a figure that is ‘likely to be repeated month-on-month for the foreseeable future’.
They said the extra cost of £960,000 spent on tackling Covid-19 in the borough over the past month ‘equates to 8.2% of our council’s net budget for the entire year’.
In the letter, Cllrs Clarke and Payne claim that the council has so far received just £54,000 from the government emergency fund to fight the virus – and said they urgently need more.
They wrote: The £1.6bn Coronavirus funding allocated to local government thus far is welcome but goes nowhere near far enough to assist councils in dealing with the impact of this pandemic. Our own council’s share of that funding was only £54,000, which is barely 6% of the cost of this crisis for our council in one month alone.
“We need you to urgently deliver on the promise made to reimburse councils for the cost of this crisis. Anything short of that risks councils like ours being forced to issue P45s to the heroes that are helping local communities and our country beat this indiscriminate virus.”