Cornwall Council first to pass on government funding for pandemic related expenditure and lost income
Cornwall Council are set to be the first principal council in England to pass on government funding and provide financial support for local (parish and town) councils impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The local council sector, including the National Association of Local Councils (NALC), has made extensive representations to the government on the financial impact of the pandemic on local councils, pressing for a dedicated package of support.
While proposals such as exempting public toilets from business rates and deferring loan payments have been taken up by the government, they have maintained their expectation that principal councils should support local councils from the £3.2 billion of un-ringfenced funding specifically for local government.
Cornwall Council has now announced a financial support offer, developed in conjunction with the Cornwall Association of Local Councils, with the “primary aim to ensure no authority faces a financial crisis”. The offer reflects the government criteria in relation to grants for coronavirus related expenditure and lost income and takes into account levels of reserves.
Cllr Sue Baxter, chairman of NALC, said: “I’m delighted Cornwall Council are doing the right thing and are the first principal council in the country to pass on government funding to support local councils impacted by the pandemic. This is real testament to value they place on local councils and the relationship developed over the last decade since becoming a unitary council, including the devolution of community assets and services.
“Huge credit is also due to Members of Parliament for their support, but particularly the Cornwall Association of Local Councils for the leadership they continue to provide in representing local councils and working so positively with Cornwall Council.
“I am strongly urging all principal councils to follow the lead and good example of Cornwall and provide financial support to local councils, and for the government to take action if that does not happen.”