Fall in Covid-19 funding criticised by Doncaster mayor who says it’s “simply not enough”
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The comments come after Doncaster Council saw a 15 per cent reduction in the latest tranche of funding it received from the government to tackle the virus.
The council received just more than £8.5 million in the latest round of funds to help tackle Covid-19, down from £10.1m earlier in the pandemic.
The mayor said she was grateful for government help, but as the council responds to the pandemic and businesses challenges, she added there is now a ‘significant shortfall’.
Damian Allen, council chief executive, said the authority had run up a £15 deficit in just five weeks as income into the council fell dramatically from the lack of business rates and council tax revenue.
Reports show councils operating in more deprived areas of the country have seen funding fall the most but in contrast, the 10 richest areas all had significant increases.
Places like Wokingham had £2.2m more, an 83 per cent increase, and Buckinghamshire had an extra £4.3m, a 41 per cent rise.
Ms Jones said: “We are grateful for the additional funding which has been made available however as we respond to the pandemic and business challenges we are already aware that there is a significant shortfall.
“I am grateful for the money the government has provided to Doncaster so far and for the speed at which they have provided which has assisted us, but the point is, it is simply not enough to cover what we have already spent on the response to this crisis, the money required in order to recover and the hit on our income during this pandemic.
“We do expect to need at least three times the level of funding again to ensure that we can maintain the existing level of services. Of course I will always welcome more money for Doncaster, to cover dealing with this emergency and our recovery.
“In the months ahead I am hopeful he and the government will stand by their word.
“We look to Government to support us in the way they have been supporting the NHS. As the road to recovery could be a long one, and we will need to be in a financially solvent position to support Doncaster and our residents.”
A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “We’re providing councils with an unprecedented £3.2 billion in the fairest way possible and giving them the resources to tackle the immediate pressures they have told us they’re facing.
“The two tranches of funding were allocated in different ways because they address different needs, but should be considered together as the true picture of this additional support.”