York faces £20m shortfall over costs to cover the coronavirus emergency

Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government

The coronavirus outbreak is expected to cost City of York Council about £20m – but emergency government funding for local authorities will mean York gets less than £5m according to a council spokesman.

Council leader Keith Aspden is calling for more money to help with the response to the crisis.

The council is expected to have a hole in its budget of around £20m due to increased demand for service, extra work and a loss of income.

Cllr Aspden said: “The Government’s announced £1.6bn of emergency funding to local authorities is necessary and welcome.

“However, the scale of this crisis means that the funding allocated to York, and other councils, is insufficient to support our communities’ and business needs over the coming months.”

Emergency fund

City of York Council leader Cllr Keith Aspden

He said it is clear that “significantly” more funding is needed quickly, as well as help to relax the rules around borrowing cash.

Cllr Aspden said:

  • Locally, we have already committed to creating a local emergency fund to support our residents and businesses, and more detail will follow on that fund this week.

    We have also moved council resources to establish new volunteer and help hotlines, so we can focus our efforts on supporting the most vulnerable in the city.

    Moving forward, it is important that we know the additional costs of our response to coronavirus will not affect the council’s longer-term financial stability, which is already under significant pressure from increasing children and adult social care demand.

His letter has gone to Robert Jenrick, secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, Simon Clarke, Northern Powerhouse minister, and Vicky Ford, parliamentary under secretary of state for children and families.

You can read it here (PDF).