Hertfordshire's district and borough councils awarded £12m to support Covid-19 response
District and borough councils from across Hertfordshire have been awarded a £12million funding boost from the government to support their response to Covid-19.
But many are already warning that the ‘significant’ sum will NOT be enough to cover the additional costs and the losses in income, incurred as a result of the pandemic.
And they say they will continue to make the case for further financial support in the coming weeks.
The councils were given details of their allocations earlier this week, which are part of a £1.6bn package that’s been shared between councils nationwide.
In total £33.5million was allocated to Hertfordshire councils – with the lion-share of £21.7m going to the county council, whose services include social care and public health.
And it follows an earlier funding announcement in March in which the county council received £26.1 million – and the local district and borough councils received a collective total that was less than £500,000.
Announcing the latest funding Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick highlighted the “central role” played by councils at this “challenging time”.
And it was said that the size of the grant to each district and borough council would reflect the population and the ‘latest assessment of the challenges they are facing.
In Hertfordshire, Dacorum – which serves the area around Hemel Hempstead – received the largest allocation of the county’s 10 district and boroughs, with £1,539, 696 – bringing its allocation over both rounds of funding to £1,592,833.
Meanwhile Stevenage received the least, with £871,563 – which brings its overall Covid-19 funding to £916,868.
Elsewhere in the county East Herts District Council was granted £1,480,304 – amounting to £1,528,217 over both funding rounds.
And St Albans City and District Council was granted £1,461,198 – which brings its overall Covid-19 government funding to £1,505,669.
North Herts District Council was allocated £1,324,414 – which is on top of the £48,009 it received in March.
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council was granted £1,230,888 – which is addition to the £51,266 previously allocated.
And Hertsmere Borough Council – which was allocated £47,953 in March – is to receive a further £1,035,939.
Broxbourne Borough Council, Watford Council and Three Rivers District Council all received grants of less than £1million – bringing their allocation over both funding rounds to £999,590, £1,009,132 and £955,484 respectively.
Councils have welcomed the latest funding, which could be used to ensure frontline services continue, to support vulnerable residents, to support public health and to find safe places for rough sleepers to stay.
But many are concerned that it won’t be enough to meet the additional costs they face, as well as the decline in income from council tax and services, such as leisure, parking and planning.
And many say they will continue to make the case for additional financial support in the coming weeks.
Dacorum Borough Council don’t expect the funding to be enough to meet the costs of Covid-19. And they say there are plans to continue to monitor the financial impacts “very closely”.
Acknowledging the grant from the government, a spokesperson for the council said: “Dacorum Borough Council welcomes this further £1.59m funding from central government, although our latest forecasts indicate this will not be sufficient to cover all our COVID-19 related costs over the months to come.
“As well as significant reductions in income, the Council is facing extra costs across most services including the support of vulnerable households and the maintenance of key front-line services within the Community.
“We continue to monitor the financial impacts very closely."