Great response to Covid-19 – but a £20m shortfall
Norfolk County Council and its partners have responded “magnificently” to the challenges of coronavirus – but the pandemic will hit the council’s budget and local businesses.
So far, the cost to the council has been £63m, in terms of supporting vulnerable people and the care market, plus purchasing personal protective equipment and loss of income.
The Government has provided £43m so far but that leaves the council with a budget pressure of £20m.
Council leader Councillor Andrew Proctor said there had been a “magnificent response” from the council, its partners and communities and attention was also turning to restarting the economy – which, according to the Centre for Progressive Policy is predicted to see a 41 per cent hit to gross value added.
Councillor Proctor said: “Although the Government is offering support to a range of sectors, there will still be a big impact on our economy. The council and all partners in Norfolk are working with the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership to devise the best strategy to recover from this economic shock.”
Councillor Andrew Jamieson, cabinet member for finance, said: “We are doing what it takes to support the public during this pandemic – but there is no doubt we will take a financial hit, due to lost savings, additional costs to services and loss of income.
"We were already urging the Government to provide sustainable future funding for councils. This is more important than ever, due to the impact of the pandemic and how that will change the shape of services.”
The council’s decision-making cabinet – and the scrutiny committee, which holds it to account – are having virtual, online meetings during the current restrictions. You can view the recording of the cabinet meeting on 11 May here and the agenda and meeting papers here (details of Norfolk County Council’s response to coronavirus can be found in Appendix A). The next meeting is on Monday 8 June at 10am. You can view a recording of the scrutiny meeting on 27 May here and the agenda and meeting papers here. The next meeting is on Tuesday 23 June at 10am.