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Council continues to do and spend what is needed to help communities

Written by on 23 November 2020

Staffordshire County Council will continue to manage its finances effectively and do what is needed while dealing with the costs of the coronavirus pandemic.

At a meeting of the Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday 21 October, members were told that the authority is forecasting an overspend of £1.8 million this year, mostly due to the effects of Covid-19.  Members were also told that additional government grant had also been received which will be used to support care homes, businesses, families and schools to deal with the challenges.

Mike Sutherland, Cabinet member for Finance, said: “Coping with the Covid-19 pandemic continues to put extra pressures on our finances, but we continue to manage them effectively and we will do what is needed and spend what is required to support those who need it.

“We are forecasting an overspend of just under £2 million this year, mostly due to the effects of Covid-19.  We have already received an extra government grant, which is welcome, but it is still a bit short compared to the overall financial impact this year. The financial impact of the pandemic in future years also remains a serious concern as does the impact on council tax and business rates collection.

Mike added: “By keeping our finances in a strong position we will be able to invest in reigniting and renewing the economy through investment in skills and training and supporting businesses to adjust to a post Covid-19 world. We will continue to manage all our finances effectively and to ensure we provide good value for money for local tax-payers.”

The council continues to provide support where needed including the distribution of more than four million items of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to care workers and frontline staff.

Alan White, Leader of the county council said: “Throughout the pandemic we have continued to support those who need us most, including the care sector, vulnerable families and local businesses.

“We continue to support the care sector and frontline workers and up to now have distributed over four million items of PPE.  This has helped ensure every care home and care provider in Staffordshire has what it needs to care for the most vulnerable.

“We continue our efforts to control the spread of the virus. Our COVID-19 Local Outbreak Control Plan continues to help manage local outbreaks and preparations for winter planning are ongoing, with additional capacity being secured to deal with the increase in extra cases.

“We will continue to do what we can and spend what is needed to control the virus, but we still need longer-term help from the Government to face issues such as funding adult social care and children’s and family services. We need the Government to work with us in finding a long term sustainable solution.

”We have a huge amount of work to do to control Coronavirus and deal with the immediate economic and social consequences of this Spring’s lockdown and the ongoing restrictions on our lives. In the longer term I am confident that we can overcome this, but for now, we must all do our bit and follow the official advice to help reduce the spread of the virus.”