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Date published: 24th April 2020
Council Leader Sarah Bütikofer has written to the district’s two local MPs, asking them to lobby for North Norfolk to receive an urgently-required improved share of the latest £1.6bn financial aid package for local authorities announced by the Government last Saturday.
The Government has pledged a further £1.6bn to help authorities in the UK to meet the rising costs of helping their communities to contend with Coronavirus, following similar funding released last month.
However with only £56,000 coming North Norfolk’s way in the last pay-out and with NNDC’s current Coronavirus-related costs standing at more than £290,000, Cllr Bütikofer has urged North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker and Broadland MP Jerome Mayhew to press the case with central Government for our area to receive a larger payment this time.
In her letter she commented: “On 20th March, the Government announced an initial £1.6bn package of additional funding to support local authorities in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, whilst it was understood that this funding was intended to help local authorities address the pressures being faced across all local authority services, there was a very unbalanced distribution of the funding, with the majority of the funds being directed to authorities with social care responsibilities. From the original 20th March funding package, North Norfolk District Council was allocated just £56,000 of funding.
“However, the District Council is forecasting to have spent over £290,000 on its direct response to COVID-19 by the end of April. This includes our community support arrangements, communication with residents, PPE, support for our leisure contractor, additional IT costs associated with the majority of staff providing frontline services from home and the costs of overtime, including working over the four-day Easter Bank holiday weekend to ensure that small business grants are distributed quickly and efficiently as per our top quartile performance in the MHCLG return submitted on 20th April.
“At the same time the Council has seen a significant reduction in its income – particularly car parking income over the Easter weekend and commercial property rents, which make a significant contribution to the District’s finances, but also areas such as commercial waste, planning income and reduced investment returns. Again we are forecasting reductions of over £1.2m from these various income streams by the end of the month. As an area heavily reliant on tourism it is feared that the loss of income to the authority is likely to continue across much of this financial year.”
Letter to Duncan Baker MP, dated 24 April 2020, pdf, 2 pages.
Last updated: 24th April 2020