• Swindon set to benefit from extra £3.6million in funding announced by the Government
• Councils have received £6.4 billion in additional direct support since April.
• Local authority has been provided with £21.7million in extra funding since the pandemic began.
People living and working in Swindon will benefit after Swindon Borough Council was given a share of £900m in additional Government funding for local councils.
The money will be used locally to help the council cover coronavirus-related costs and ensure it has the resources needed to keep providing key services as we battle the Covid pandemic.
It means Swindon Borough Council has now received £21.7million in direct extra support from the Government since the start of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Swindon will benefit from a share of a further £100m established to support council-run leisure centres across the country, which are proving key to helping the health and well-being of people in the area.
The new funding means local councils will have £1bn extra in funding this winter to help maintain vital services.
The funding has not been ring-fenced, meaning local leaders will be able to determine how to spend the additional funding in order to best protect public health, local vulnerable people and the running of vital services. In total, over £4.6 billion of the £6.4 billion in additional government funding made available to councils has not been ring-fenced, reflecting the Government’s view that local authorities are best placed to determine local priorities.
This is the fourth announcement of extra direct support for local authorities since the start of the pandemic. It forms part of an unprecedented package of support for councils, which also includes up to £465 million through the new Local Alert Level system, £300 million to support Test and Trace and £30 million for enforcement and compliance. Councils can also claim funding through a compensation scheme for lost income from sales, fees and charges and further additional support will be made available to areas placed under Tier 3 restrictions.
North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson said:
“The Government support is proving crucial to people living in Swindon as it means Swindon Borough Council can continue to provide the essential services needed. The extra £3.66million announced today is hugely welcome and will ease financial pressures on Swindon Borough Council and ensure it is able to continue providing vital local services this winter.”
South Swindon MP Robert Buckland said:
“Just like we said we would stand behind people whose jobs are at risk – with over £200 billion so far to project jobs, incomes and businesses throughout and beyond this pandemic – this Conservative Government is keeping its promise to local authorities and ensuring they have the resources they need to continue supporting people”
Commenting, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said:
“Since the start of the pandemic, we have backed local councils with the funding they need to support their communities, protect vital services and recover lost income.
“This extra £1 billion funding will ensure that councils have the resources that they need over the winter and continue to play an essential role on the front line of our response to the virus while protecting the most vulnerable and supporting local businesses.”
Commenting, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
“It's vital that we keep ourselves fighting fit through the winter months and local authority leisure centres are crucial to this. This £100 million fund will help keep leisure centres across the country open. I urge leisure centres to bid for the money and people to make the most of these precious local facilities.”
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Notes to Editors
We have provided an unprecedented package of extra support for local authorities during the pandemic.
• This is the fourth tranche of additional funding – worth £1 billion – that we have provided to councils to help address spending pressures since the start of the pandemic. We’ve given councils more than £6.4 billion extra since the pandemic began, including £4.6 billion in un-ringfenced grants to cover their direct additional costs associated with the pandemic, £1.1 billion extra for social care and grant funding for a range of specific measures such as reopening high streets safely, supporting local compliance and enforcement, and providing emergency support for rough sleepers. Further support for local authorities under Tier 3 restrictions will also be made available (MHCLG, Guidance, 22 October 2020, link; Prime Minister’s Office, Press Release, 12 October 2020, link; Hansard, WS 333, 2 July 2020, link).
• We are providing billions in financial relief to help councils with their cashflow during this difficult period. We have enabled councils to defer £2.6 billion in business rates payments to central government and brought forward care grant payments worth £850 million. These were paid in a lump sum in April to provide immediate support for frontline social care services and to ease pressures on council’s finances (Hansard, WS 333, 2 July 2020, link; MHCLG, Press Release, 16 April 2020, link).
•We have established a major new scheme to reimburse councils for lost income and to help them recover irrecoverable tax losses, so that they can continue providing vital services. Where a council’s losses are more than 5 per cent of their planned income from sales, fees and charges, the Government will cover them for 75p in every pound lost. We are also supporting councils with irrecoverable tax losses - an apportionment of irrecoverable Council Tax and Business Rates losses between central and local government will be agreed at the Spending Review. The repayment of collection fund deficits arising in 2020-21, will also be spread over the next three years rather than the usual period of a year, giving councils breathing space in setting budgets for next year (MHCLG, Press Release, 2 July 2020, link).
• We will provide financial support to leisure centres in need. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is working closely with Sport England and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on the design of the £100 million scheme for local authority leisure centres. Further details will be released shortly.
We are supporting people and businesses in areas with local restrictions by:
• Introducing new wage support through the Job Support Scheme (JSS). For businesses that are legally required to close due to local or national restrictions, we are providing expanded support through the Job Support Scheme. This provides a grant for employees unable to work, covering two-thirds of their usual wages, up to £2,100 a month. This means that, once you take into account tax and benefit changes, people on low incomes will continue to receive up to 90 per cent of their wages (HMT, News Story, 12 October 2020, link).
• Increasing grants for businesses forced to closed – these will now be up to £3,000 per month, with payments coming after two weeks instead of three. Businesses forced to close due to national or local restrictions will now receive up to £3,000 per month and will receive payment after only two weeks of closure, rather than three. The scheme will include businesses which have been forced to close on a national rather than a local basis, or which have not been legally able to reopen since the first lockdown in March – such as nightclubs (HMT, News Story, 12 October 2020, link).
• Providing a £500 payment to support those on low incomes who have been asked to self-isolate. Just under 4 million people who are in receipt of benefits in England will be eligible for this payment (Prime Minister’s Office, Press Release, 20 September 2020, link).
• Providing £63 million to councils to assist those struggling to afford food and other essentials. £63 million will be distributed to local authorities in England to help those who are struggling to afford food and other essentials.