Hampshire County Council have received £242 million to stop the spread of COVID-19 and support residents in the region since the outbreak last March.
Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed the funding boost which has also provided extra cash to both Gosport and Fareham Borough Councils which has been vital in helping them to deliver essential services and assist some of the most vulnerable residents across Gosport, Hill Head, Stubbington and Lee-on-the-Solent. The South East in 2020-21 in total have been allocated £1,209 million.
The news comes this week as it has also been announced that 9 out of 10 local authorities are enrolled in community testing, including Hampshire County Council. They are working hard with the Department of Health and Social Care to carefully plan and implement the roll-out asymptomatic testing across the local area. This is especially important as 1 out of 3 people do not develop COVID-19 symptoms.
“I know that our local councils have been under an immense amount of pressure to support our community over this very difficult year.
“Many residents have needed extra support, from those shielding to businesses who have had to shut their doors. At the same time, normal Council services have continued as usual.
“It is fantastic that Hampshire County Council have received almost a quarter of a billion in government grants.”
Over half of this funding has not been ringfenced and local leaders have been able to decide how the money would be best used.
Local authorities in England have also received over £2 billion in further grant funding since March last year to deliver specific schemes, such as providing emergency support for rough sleepers, preventing children going hungry, setting up local test and trace services and measures to make care homes, high streets and town centres Covid-secure.
In total, the Government has provided local authorities across England with more than £7 billion in additional support and introduced a range of measures to help council’s manage pressures on their finances created by the pandemic, worth billions more. A further £3 billion will be allocated to councils from April onwards.
Commenting, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said:
“From the start of the pandemic, we committed to ensuring that councils had the resources they needed to step up and support their communities.
“That commitment remains undimmed, which is why we have provided councils with more than £7 billion of additional funding for Covid-19 expenditure, and will continue to ensure they have the resources they need to provide vital local services and held their communities build back better from the pandemic.”