The coronavirus outbreak poses serious risks to the country’s network of cultural organisations unless there is a joined-up approach to supporting them, the Local Government Association and Arts Council England set out today.
Responding to the Heritage Lottery Fund’s £50 million funding announcement for heritage sites, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Chair of the LGA’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said:
“We are pleased that the Heritage Lottery Fund have provided much needed funding at this difficult time for heritage organisations, who face the additional challenge of high maintenance costs for their buildings during the current closures.
"It is also positive that it recognises how investing in the ROSS network will help both heritage organisations, and provide work for hundreds of freelancers.
Responding to the Government’s building safety announcement, Lord Porter, the Local Government Association’s building safety spokesman, said:
“Residents have a right to be safe and feel safe in their own homes. This is even more important during the current coronavirus pandemic, as so many people are confined to their homes.
“The Government’s announcement that the remediation of cladding remains a top priority is positive news, and industry and duty-holders now need to step up and deliver the work required. Leaseholders, who are facing a triple whammy of mortgage refusals, spiralling
"We are pleased that government has agreed that a significant amount of new hardship funding can be used flexibly by councils on local pressures and priorities, including on helping those who are most vulnerable."
“There are already an estimated 1.3 million young people entitled to free school meals, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has meant that there are now a large number of families signing up to benefits."
Bus services which are vital in getting health and care staff and other key workers to the frontline during the coronavirus outbreak will struggle to survive without emergency rescue funding, the Local Government Association says today.
The LGA, which represents councils, is concerned that some bus companies and services will not be able to survive the crisis, as the number of passengers has fallen sharply – in some places 75 per cent - with most people now rightly staying safe at home.
It wants to work with government on an emergency funding package for buses and council-run public
“Councils across the country are leading local efforts to support communities through the coronavirus crisis and are helping government provide essential food parcels to vulnerable and isolated people on an unprecedented scale."
For the first time, all three stakeholder groups have agreed a joint national approach to the crisis. The fire service organisations say that the measures in the agreement reflect the scale of the national crisis and the urgency of the response required.
Under the agreement, firefighters will be able to:
Deliver essential items like food and medicines to vulnerable people
Drive ambulances and assist ambulance staff
Retrieve dead bodies, should the outbreak cause mass casualties
Firefighters will continue responding to core emergencies, such as fires and road traffic collisions