Dr Dan Poulter presses Government for greater funding to support Suffolk's local authorities

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP, Dr Dan Poulter, has called on the Government to make available further funding to support our local councils here in Suffolk.

 

Following discussions with County and District Council Leaders, it is clear that there is a fundamental threat to the delivery of frontline services, essential in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, if further funding is not made available.  Dr Poulter has spoken with the Leaders and Chief Executives of Suffolk County Council, Mid Suffolk District Council, East Suffolk Council and Ipswich Borough Council and understands that the measures which our councils will have to put in place, just to deal with COVID-19, will cost more than the councils are currently receiving or are set to receive.  There is also a reduction in vital income which our councils receive locally, for example due to reduced car parking revenue, in light of residents staying at home during the pandemic.

 

The Government has tasked local authorities with leading the response to COVID-19 locally and this role is set to grown even more critical as we move to the next stages in tackling the pandemic.  With our councils helping local businesses with grant aid, and supporting the most vulnerable in our communities, it is essential that they have the necessary funding available, not only to continue the work they have already taken, but also to take on new responsibilities are we press ahead.

 

Member of Parliament for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, Dr Dan Poulter, said “Our local councils here in Suffolk have done a fantastic job in rising to the challenge in the fight against COVID-19, and I applaud them for their efforts.  Our councils have done an outstanding job in supporting older people throughout the COVID crisis, and those who are most vulnerable, as well as overseeing challenging issues including re-opening our school and providing PPE to nursing homes.  But more needs to be done by Government to support our councils in providing the necessary funding to continue delivering vital frontline services.”

 

“Across Suffolk, our local councils anticipate spending some £61 million in tackling Covid-19 so far this year, yet to date have only received £43 million in funding.  Whilst this £43 million was greatly welcomed by our local councils, this leaves a funding gap of some £18 million.”

 

“Alongside my fellow Suffolk MPs, we have written to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government asking that they abide by their promise to “do whatever is necessary to support councils in their response to coronavirus” and look forward to the response in due course."