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A new Government funding package to help councils address coronavirus pressures and cover lost income during the COVID-19 pandemic has been welcomed by Island MP Bob Seely.

The package – which includes a £500 million funding pot – is designed to help offset financial pressures faced by councils as a result of emergency spending through the pandemic.

The Government said the money had not been ringfenced – meaning councils would be allowed to decide how the money was spent.

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In addition, the Government said it would help to reimburse lost income during the pandemic and boost cash flow by covering 75p in every pound lost in income (where losses are more than 5% of a council’s planned income from sales, fees and charges).

Councils would also be able spread their tax deficits over 3 years rather than the usual one.

Local Government Secretary, Robert Jenrick, said:

“Councils are playing a huge part in supporting their communities during this pandemic. From supporting the most vulnerable and keeping vital services running to operating local track and trace, council workers have been at the forefront of this great national effort and are the unsung heroes of this pandemic.”

The Government said any council that is faced with an unmanageable pressure, or is concerned about their future financial position beyond the support provided, should contact Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

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Last month the Island’s MP and Isle of Wight Council Leader Cllr Stewart wrote to Local Government Minister, Simon Clarke, to seek further Government support for the Isle of Wight.

Bob said:

“I welcome this package of support coming from the Government. Our council is already under extreme financial pressure so this support will help them to catch their breath.

“I will be talking to the council about my thoughts on this. I would like to see the council not only investing the money in keeping people safe and supported but also looking at ways they can help businesses who are struggling and invest in opportunities that can help to safeguard jobs.

“I want to ensure ministers understand our position here before the next Spending Review, which will determine the level of support councils need moving forward.

“I am working with the IW Council to push ministers for more support here. I have another meeting with Simon Clarke next week and I will continue to ensure our voices are heard.”

Further details on the allocations of the funding will be made in due course.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Can this help in purchasing Columbine Works ?


This money has not been ring fenced for specific projects or help, and this is the last we will hear about it, I am sure it will disappear into the council coffers for future fat cat bonuses.

Christopher Davis

Let’s increase the fund by getting rid of at least half of the councillors preferably these who got paid or claimed the most money

Nick Black

Well, that should help plug the £10 million black hole in the Councils budget as they claimed to have, despite having some HUGE supplementary funding from Westminster to assist during the crisis.
Mind you, knowing our Council, as ‘Mark’ said, as it’s not ring-fenced, that’s the last the Electorate will heat about it.


Give the staff a pay rise! Top People top wages – Talent costs!


Give them a few weeks, and guess what, all councillors will apply for a huge pay rise, and they will in their wisdom, vote it through.
It has happened in the past, and i assume it will happen again.

Old Mike

More consultants – where shall we put them all?

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