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Councils to get £1.6bn cash boost to help with battle against coronavirus

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Gedling Borough Council will receive a share of another £1.6 billion in additional funding to help with the response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Local Government Secretary has announced.

The cash boost will be welcome news to leaders of Gedling Borough Council, who on Friday wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking for more money to help in the fight against coronavirus.

This extra £1.6 billion takes the total given to councils to help their communities through this crisis to over £3.2 billion, an unprecedented level of additional financial support in recent times.

The funding will mean councils can continue to provide essential services and support to those who need it most.

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This includes getting rough sleepers off the street, supporting new shielding programmes for clinically extremely vulnerable people and assistance for our heroic public health workforce and fire and rescue services.

The funding will also mean councils can provide vital services including adult social care and children’s services.

This announcement follows an initial £1.6 billion given to councils last month which supported the work they have done to free up vital hospital beds and deliver essential supplies to the vulnerable.

This has also helped get rough sleepers off the street and so far over 90% of those on the streets at the beginning of the crisis and known to local authorities – have been offered safe accommodation.

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Gedling leader John Clarke, left and deputy leader Michael Payne, right had written to Boris Johnson last week (Credit: Joseph Raynor)

Additional funding announced today will mean councils will be able to continue to support the most vulnerable people on the streets during the pandemic, deal with immediate pressures and provide additional support across a range of vital services.

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Making the announcement yesterday, Robert Jenrick has written to all councils in England to thank them for their continued efforts as they work around the clock to support their residents. 

In his letter, the Local Government Secretary called them the “unsung heroes” of the coronavirus response who are helping to keep the country moving by ensuring vulnerable people receive the care they need and essential services continue.   

Local Government Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:  ”Today’s announcement of an additional £1.6 billion of new funding to councils means we have now provided them with over £3.2 billion during this pandemic.

“I promised local government would have the resources they need to meet this challenge and today demonstrates my commitment to doing just that. We stand shoulder to shoulder with local government and my priority is to make sure they are supported so they can continue to support their communities through this challenging time.

“Up and down the country council workers are the unsung heroes as we tackle this virus. They are in the front line of the national effort to keep the public safe and deliver the services people need. Never has this been more important and we are all rightly grateful for everything that they are doing.

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“This new funding will support them through immediate pressures they are facing to respond to coronavirus and protect vital services.”

Councils will also be allowed to defer £2.6 billion in payments to central government, and £850 million in social care grants will be paid up front this month in a move aimed at helping to ease immediate pressures on local authority cash flows.

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