Fears for the future financial stability of the borough council
Merton Council has already spent more than £25 million in response to the coronavirus outbreak and that figure will only rise in the coming weeks or months.
And despite the Government pledging billions of pounds to local councils, Merton’s cabinet member for finance, Mark Allison, is concerned about the future financial stability of the authority.
Central government has so far pledged £3.2 billion of funding to support the council’s response to the pandemic. Of this Merton Council has received £10.6 million.
But at the first virtual meeting of Merton Cabinet on Tuesday (April 28), Councillor Allison said: “I wanted to raise the costs to the council and concerns about what that could mean to the future financial stability of the council.
“We estimate that we have spent in excess of £25 million in tackling the coronavirus outbreak so far.”
He described the government funding as a “significant shortfall” in what the council is actually spending.
“That funding from the government is very welcome and a step in the right direction, but we want them to understand that there have been additional costs to the council and as a result of coronavirus our income has fallen,” he added.
“It has also meant that savings and cuts we wanted to deliver earlier are no longer achievable because the focus has to be on helping people with coronavirus.”
By Tara O'Connor, Local Demcracy Reporter
April 29, 2020