The government provided details last week of how its second £1.6 billion lump of additional funding to help councils in England cope with the financial effects of the coronavirus crisis is to be shared out. How have London’s boroughs been treated?
It varies. Compared with the first rescue package, London’s boroughs as a whole have done slightly worse, receiving £245 million between them compared with £254 million of the first £1.6 billion package from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
However, the Outer London boroughs have been allocated about £10 million more overall than last time, while Inner London boroughs have collectively been given about £20 million less.
The differences from the first bail out sum can be explained by a different formula being used: with the first one, 85 per cent of the individual sums given to local authorities in England were calculated according to their social care funding needs, while the other 15 per cent was based on their funding needs in general.
With the second £1.6 billion, the money has been dished out on a simple population basis. Every English local authority has been given £28 for every person living in its area. The context is that councils have recently submitted “impact returns” to the ministry, setting out the financial pressures they’ve been put under by, on the hand, spending more money to help local people and organisations cope and, on the other, seeing their incomes fall.
Individual borough figures include:
- Barking & Dagenham given £5.8 million, making £12.1 million from the government in all.
- Brent given a further £9.1 million, making its overall extra support total £18.4 million.
- Camden receiving £7.4 million to bring its extra funding total up to £16.4 million.
- Hillingdon receiving £8,4 million to bring its total up to £15.2 million.
- Newham: another £9.7 million to bring its total up to £20.2 million.
- Richmond: another £5.4 million to make £9.6 million altogether.
- Southwark receiving an extra £8.8 million, making £19.9 million in all.
- Westminster given a further £7.1 million, bringing it up to £16.4 million.
The full details can be perused on a spreadsheet available via here.
The second £1.6 billion from secretary of state Robert Jenrick has been politely welcomed by local government bodies, including in London, but they’ve already made clear they don’t think it’s going to be anywhere near enough. How much more help they receive remains to be seen.
Photograph: Brent Civic Centre.
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