NDC lobbies for more government funding
24 April 2020
North Devon Council is lobbying the government for more financial support so it can continue to provide vital community services throughout the coronavirus outbreak and beyond.
The government's announcement of a further £1.6 billion for local government comes as little comfort to the council as the initial £1.6 billion saw NDC receive just £52k - equivalent to just over a pound per household or 50 pence per resident. Yet it's predicted the council needs around an additional £90 per household in order to just survive the initial three months.
The bleak financial position is due to the fact that the council now relies on income from various sources in order to deliver its services as government funding has reduced over the past 10 years. That income is predicted to drop by 20% which in money terms is between £2 and £3 million over the first three months of the pandemic. Council tax itself only accounts for a small fraction of the council's overall budget.
Council Leader Cllr David Worden says: "The last round of funding saw the lion's share go to the county councils who are providing frontline care in the community. But we also provide essential frontline support to our communities and need to carry on providing essential services such as bin collections and helping vulnerable customers with housing and financial support. If we get a similar share of this latest round of funding, we will be left in a potentially catastrophic financial position so the government really needs to listen to us and understand the severity of the financial position of many district councils.
No announcements have been made yet as to how the government will share out the latest £1.6 billion.