Sheffield MP claims city council is on 'life support machine' and needs cash to cope with coronavirus

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Sheffield MP Clive Betts is calling for certainty that local councils will receive government funding to see them through the coronavirus pandemic.

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee chairman said local councils are on a ‘life support machine’ and in desperate need of certainty that they will receive the funding required to see them through the pandemic.

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MP Clive BettsMP Clive Betts
MP Clive Betts

Mr Betts told the Commons: “It still feels a little bit like local government is on a life support machine just waiting for the next bit of revenue to trickle through...rather than having the certainty which enables them to plan.“So many councils now looking at making cuts, looking at emergency budgets and talking openly about section 114 notices.”

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A 114 notice means no new expenditure is permitted, with the exception of safeguarding vulnerable people and statutory services.Mr Betts added: “We don't want councils to get to the point where they are thinking about 114 and planning for it, we actually want the certainty that they are going to get the funding that doesn't drive them to that position.“And it is not just about funding for this year, it is about funding for next year as well because many councils, again my own in Sheffield as a case, where they haven't got reserves to see them through this year and that will mean taking reserves off next year and postponing the problem.“Let's have a bit more certainty that all the costs that local authorities incur in Covid-related matters will be covered by Government.”

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