Gordon Hook

Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Newton Abbot South and District Councillor for Buckland and Milber Learn more

Chancellors Welcome Statement…But Local Authorities Need Help Too

by gordonhook on 21 March, 2020

I listened with amazement ( and pleasure) at the Chancellors statement yesterday where he guaranteed, amongst other things, the wages of so many workers who were getting very worried about how they were going to live in the coming months. His statement was very welcome by many, both employees and employers, I am certain. His significant increase in Universal Credit is also to be applauded.
I really don’t know where the cash is coming from mind you, but that’s a problem for another day. It’s as though he hasn’t so much found the Magic Money Tree, so much as discovered the Magic Money Forest.
One group who haven’t been awarded any help ( yet?) are local authorities.
Teignbridge, just like every other local authority in the country is a business and needs cash to survive. We have reserves but they will run out if no money comes into the coffers in about 6/7 weeks.
With leisure centres closed and car parks soon to become virtually empty, income will shrink. One early consequence could be the inability to collect household waste, or indeed to empty litter bins. A small but important way in which the public could help would be to take rubbish, including dog waste, home with them and put it in the black bins at home.( or flush dog waste down the toilet)
So, please consider the fact that councils are businesses and need money to manage the functions they perform, just like any retail outlet, resturant or theatre. Environmental Health; Social Care; Child Protection; Planning, etc, etc are perhaps all too often taken for granted. It may just be, unless the Chancellor comes to their aid, that local authorities will be unable to carry out at least some of those traditional functions in the weeks to come.

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