Government funding crucial to support and recovery efforts

Published: Fri 1 May, 2020

Extra Government funding to help councils in their efforts to support communities during the coronavirus pandemic has been welcomed by North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) leader Richard Blunt.

Last week the Government announced an extra £1.6bn for all councils to help them respond to coronavirus pressures across the services they deliver.

North West Leicestershire is due to receive £1.04 million on top of the £42,000 it received in an earlier round of funding.

Councillor Blunt said that the funding won’t cover the financial losses being incurred by NWLDC during the pandemic, but that is a welcome boost at an important time.

Councillor Blunt said: “This funding is a crucial to our ability to continue offering a high level of support to our communities, residents and businesses during the pandemic.

“While we feel this falls short of what is required, it is certainly being made available at an opportune time and does offer us a significant boost at least in the short term.

“The challenges we are facing will last beyond the end of lockdown and we are already looking at a recovery plan for the district and planning for the rebuilding of our local economy.

“Financial support from Government is vital in our ability to achieve this aim of seeing North West Leicestershire return to the thriving and flourishing district it is used to being.”

To date the council has issued just over £15 million of business grants to 1,277 firms in the district, while also offering financial support to those struggling to pay council tax or tenancy rents. Increased support is also being provided for people sleeping rough or at risk of sleeping rough.

It has also helped established a network of community organisations which are helping to support isolated and shielded residents with crucial tasks such as shopping, collecting medication and providing health and wellbeing phone calls.

Large numbers of staff have been redeployed to help support critical services such as the community networks and waste collections, with volunteers across communities also being relied upon for their invaluable support.

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