"The Government has pledged a £5 billion fund for NHS and public services coping with the coronavirus and look forward to seeing the full details."
Responding to measures announced in Budget 2020 to help communities, businesses and the economy cope with the coronavirus crisis, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“The announcement of hardship funding and business rates support is good news and will be a huge relief to people and businesses who may struggle financially as a result of the coronavirus. Councils will need maximum flexibility over hardship funding to ensure it can be distributed as quickly as possible and where there is most need.
“Council staff are doing an amazing job in hugely difficult and fast-moving circumstances to help cope with coronavirus and will continue to do all they can to support residents and businesses.
“Keeping older people and those with underlying health conditions safe from the virus will be absolutely crucial.
“Councils have plans in place for every possible scenario, which include looking at how they could best use their staff and mobilise resources to continue supporting the most vulnerable. However, a widespread coronavirus epidemic across the country would inevitably have a huge impact on an already-stretched adult social care system. We are therefore pleased the Government has pledged a £5 billion fund for NHS and public services coping with the coronavirus and look forward to seeing the full details.
“It is clear that local government needs the same commitment the NHS has received from the Chancellor today, that it will get any immediate financial support it needs to help adult social care services keep vulnerable residents safe and reduce pressure on the NHS.
“It is disappointing that the Budget was not used to announce councils’ public health grant for the next financial year, which is only just over two weeks away. The public health grant must be published by the Government with the utmost urgency to ensure councils can not only cope with the coronavirus crisis but to continue providing other vital public health services for the long term.
“The LGA continues to liaise with Public Health England and the relevant government departments regarding the outbreak. We are raising councils’ concerns on a range of issues including the impact on adult social care, emergency funding, support for residents and staff, workforce capacity, the use of volunteers and arrangements for the local elections.”