The leader of Preston City Council, Matthew Brown, has written to the Prime Minister urging for adequate funds to help local councils tackle the coronavirus crisis.Advertisement
In a letter shared publicly on Facebook, Cllr Brown said: “I am writing to express my deep concerns about the consequences of your government not adequately reimbursing local authorities for the immediate and long term consequences of COVID19 as we respond to the greatest crisis our country has seen since the Second World War.
“Councils up and down the country have been on the frontline in responding to this crisis, providing valuable social care, keeping vital services running with severe staff shortages and administering grants to businesses despite delays and confusion from national government.
“From setting up our dedicated ‘Preston Together’ support service for local people who are facing financial difficulty or struggling to get food and medicine to getting PPE rapidly delivered to our frontline services despite the Government’s delays, Preston City Council as protected our community when they need us most.”
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Cllr Brown went on to outline the work the council has done in rehousing the homeless and funding food parcels for families struggling to make ends meet.
He said this all comes at a cost at a time when revenue from parking, council tax and trade waste collection is on hold, due to the lockdown.
He said: “We simply cannot continue to deliver the vital services people need and deserve without additional funding from the Government. Without extra funding we will rapidly run out of money to help rough sleepers off the streets and into safe and secure accommodation; to provide emergency food and money to families facing extreme poverty.
“I want to be clear. If you fail to honour your previous commitments to deliver the extra funding the councils are relying on, you will be failing vulnerable people you claim to be protecting, failing the incredible front line staff who put their lives at risk every day to protect you, and ultimately you will be failing our NHS.”
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