South Yorkshire councils short-changed out of £6.5m Covid-19 support

//South Yorkshire councils short-changed out of £6.5m Covid-19 support

Published 27th May 2020 at 11:07am

Responding to research showing councils in South Yorkshire have lost out on over £6.5 million in funding to help vulnerable people and support public services during the coronavirus pandemic, due to a change in the funding formula against more deprived areas, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, Dan Jarvis, said:

“People and councils in South Yorkshire have been short-changed by the Government.

“Our local authorities have made valiant efforts to protect the vulnerable, provide care and ensure public services have been there for us in our hour of need. Now this shortfall risks people and places in South Yorkshire being left without support – with councils having to pick up the pieces and foot the bill.

“Councils have worked tirelessly to keep people safe, businesses afloat and our communities strong. This is no way to thank them for their huge contribution to help us overcome the coronavirus crisis. Rather than levelling up, this approach pushes us down.

“At a time of crisis, it is essential that the Government allocates support on the basis of need. To do otherwise shows that we are not all in this together. This move represents a massive shift of resources away from the most deprived areas, that were suffering before Covid-19, are being hit hardest by it, and will have the toughest time recovering.

“That’s why returning to the status quo – of Westminster holding the purse strings – is not good enough. Instead, the Government should ensure metro mayors, local leaders and businesses have the powers and resources to not only recover from the pandemic, but have the tools to unlock economic renewal across South Yorkshire and the North – building a stronger, fairer future for all.”

Notes to Editors

According to the LGA, councils have a total projected financial pressure in the year 2020/21 arising from the impact of COVID-19 of between £10 and £13 billion. So far, the government has allocated £3.2 billion: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/17/housing-communities-and-local-government-committee/publications/

The first £1.6 billion was allocated were based on a mixture of Adult Social Care Relative Needs Formulas and the 2013/14 Settlement Funding Assessment (a measure of general needs): https://www.gov.uk/government/news/2-9-billion-funding-to-strengthen-care-for-the-vulnerable

The second £1.6 billion (announced on 18 April) was made on a per-capita basis, meaning poorer areas lose out on funding compared to richer ones. For two-tier areas, this was split between county and district authorities 65%/35%: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-confirms-allocations-of-1-6-billion-funding-boost-for-councils