£17.5 million funding for Shropshire councils to tackle Covid-19
Councils across Shropshire have received £17.5 million in new funding to help tackle the coronavirus crisis.
About £14.2m of the government cash will help local authorities respond to pressures across the services they deliver, such as adult social care and bin collections, while £3.3m is from a hardship fund to provide council tax relief to vulnerable people and households.
Shropshire Council has been allocated £9m, including a £1.54m hardship fund, while Telford & Wrekin Council has been given £5.2m with a £1.82m hardship fund.
The bulk of the money will be used to enhance the NHS discharge process, speeding up the process of patients returning home once they no longer need urgent treatment and freeing up bed space. Nationally it is hoped up to 15,000 hospital beds will be made available for patients with coronavirus.
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The cash has been welcomed by MPs from across the region. Shrewsbury and Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski said: “We look to the councils at this critical time for leadership. This additional money is very welcome. We will continue, as the situation unfolds, to ensure whatever additional resources they need.
“This is not a time to be worrying about the pounds, shillings and pence.”
Wrekin MP Mark Pritchard said: “I called for this additional funding and I’m glad the government has responded speedily. There are immediate funding needs, which this additional funding will help meet, but with council tax holidays and an overall drop in revenue to councils in the few months ahead the government will need to do more. I will continue to work with both councils to make the case for Shropshire.”
Russell Griffin, spokesman for Telford & Wrekin Council, said: “The £5.2m has been allocated to us to support social care costs – it’s clearly vital that the social case system is adequately resourced to ensure that pressures on the NHS are minimised but again there is no way to estimate what is really going to be required at this point. We feel the government has made a good start in terms of allocating money to councils. However, in order to support our communities sufficiently, we will need the government to go further and faster.”
Local government secretary Robert Jenrick said: “The work of local authorities to deliver social care and other vital public services has never been more important than it is now – and will be – in the days and weeks ahead.
“That’s why we’re giving local councils additional funding to spend where it’s needed most – to ensure they can meet the cost of the increased demand for social care and continue to protect the most vulnerable people in society.”
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