Written Question on Local Government Finance: Durham

Written Questions are submitted by MPs or Lords to receive information from a Department.

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Date Title Questioner
15 Jun 2020, 3:50 p.m. Mary Kelly Foy (Labour - City of Durham) Mary Kelly Foy (Labour - City of Durham)

Question to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government:

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of changes in local authority (a) budgets and (b) funding formula during the covid-19 outbreak on the capacity of Durham County Council to maintain services.

Answered by Simon Clarke

We have now made £3.2 billion available to local authorities through an un-ringfenced grant so they can address pressures they are facing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of this, Durham County Council has received £33.15 million.

In total, the Government has committed over £27 billion to local areas to support councils and their communities. This also includes: £300 million to support the new test and trace service, £600 million to support providers through a new Infection Control Fund and £12.3 billion of support through the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grants.

Alongside this funding, the Government has provided over £5 billion of cashflow support including the deferral of local authority payments of the Central Share of retained business rates, valued at £2.6 billion, as well as up-front payments of £1.8 billion of business rates reliefs and £850 million of social care grant.

Following the allocation of the £1.6 billion in March, we reviewed the funding formula, by using monthly data and our conversations with councils to refine our assessment. To allocate the additional £1.6 billion in April, we used our latest and best assessment of the distribution of additional COVID-19 pressures.

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