District Councils in Oxfordshire have called on the Government for more financial support as Covid-19 continues to hit the fragile economy and puts increasing pressure on local services.
In a letter to Robert Jenrick, the Housing Communities and Local Government Secretary, the councils spell out the serious consequences the Coronavirus is having on local authorities following the second lockdown announcement.
The councils say the Government needs to ensure that there is enough funding to provide day-to-day services for communities in the longer term. The letter, signed by all district council leaders in the county, sets out the urgent need for additional financial help for the communities and the businesses they support.
The leaders’ letter says: “The pandemic has had a significant impact on the finances of the councils, which have all had to re-forecast or revise their budgets to reflect the increased expenditure and lost income that coronavirus has caused. This situation cannot continue indefinitely without impacting front-line services”.
The leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, Sue Cooper, said: “The enormous level of community and business support we’ve provided wasn’t optional; we couldn’t just sit by and do nothing.”
“We need the government to recognise the impact this vital work has had on our finances. A long term, sustainable financial settlement for our councils is needed so we can continue to provide all the services our communities need.”