Sheffield Council predicts multi-million pound black hole due to coronavirus

Sheffield Council has called on the government for more support after predicting it will spend £70.5 million on tackling the coronavirus.

Tuesday, 28th April 2020, 1:06 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th April 2020, 4:38 pm

The coronavirus pandemic has increased councils’ spending on services while income has been lost from things like parking.

Central government has so far announced a total boost of £3.2 billion to local authorities across the country, of which Sheffield received £18m in the first round and expects a further £18m from the second.

However, council leaders say it is not enough as Sheffield forecasts its coronavirus spending at about £70.5m - leaving a gap of £34.5m between that and what the government has provided.

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A council spokesman said: “The coronavirus pandemic has affected all aspects of our lives and as such we have seen a significant increase in spending to deliver a range of vital services to our communities, helping to keep our residents safe and well during this time.

“We have already received £18m from central government to help cover these costs and were pleased to see a further £1.6bn announced for local authorities by the government last week. If this money is distributed in the same manner as before, we hope to receive an estimated further £18m in Sheffield.

“However, this second package alone will of course still not be enough to cover the total cost of necessary spending.

“I therefore urge the government to agree further funding for local authorities to cover the full costs related to covid-19, and ensure that families, businesses and communities are not hit even harder during and after this challenging and uncertain time.”