Yesterday l interviewed the leaders of B&NES Council and heard of the efforts being made to urge the Government to financially prop up local authorities at this difficult time.
With additional costs in social care and new services – and a loss of tourism revenue and business rates – our district may see a budget deficit of as much as fifty million pounds!
I asked if they would be urging support from our two local MP’s and – according to this press release – the MP for Bath Wera Hobhouse has already sprung into action.
She’s tabled an Early Day Motion which states that Parliament “recognizes the hard work of our Local Authorities in helping to ensure that vulnerable groups are protected during the Covid-19 pandemic”. I
n addition, the Early Day Motion calls on Government to “urgently provide clarity about the nature of the financial support that will be provided to Local Authorities and how this will be distributed.”
Although the Early Day Motion is unlikely to be debated in Parliament, it has been published on the House of Commons website and other MPs can add their names to it in solidarity.
The Early Day Motion, which was published last night, already has signatures from Liberal Democrat, Green, and Labour Party politicians. The move follows the promise from Government, reiterated by Robert Jenrick last Tuesday in the Chamber, that they will fund Local Authorities for all Covid-19 related costs.
“It has never been more important to have community support for the elderly and the vulnerable, and quality Council-funded services with staff who have relationships with service users.
It was encouraging to hear the Government promise to repay money spent by Councils to fight Covid-19 but there are important questions that remain unaddressed.
I am asking the Government to recognize the efforts of our Local Authorities in this crisis and provide clear answers as to the funding which will be provided.
I am pleased to be working cross-party to make this happen. Together we will be championing the work of Local Authorities during this crisis from inside Parliament.”