Local authorities across Worcestershire have so far received an extra £76 million to support vital local services during the Covid-19 pandemic, with further funding confirmed for next year. This includes £2.7 million for Worcester City Council.

Over half of this funding has not been ringfenced, meaning local leaders can decide how to use the additional funds and which local services to boost investment to. This could include counselling services, delivering essential supplies to vulnerable families, and ensuring cherished green spaces are well maintained and covid-secure.

Local authorities have also received over £2 billion in further grant funding since March last year to deliver specific schemes, such as providing emergency support for rough sleepers, preventing children going hungry, setting up local test and trace services and measures to make care homes, high streets and town centres Covid-secure.

In total, the Government has provided local authorities across England with more than £7 billion in additional support and introduced a range of measures to help council’s manage pressures on their finances created by the pandemic, worth billions more. A further £3 billion will be allocated to councils from April onwards.

Commenting on the findings, Worcester MP Robin Walker said:

“I am in regular touch with Simon Geraghty, the leader of Worcestershire County Council and Marc Bayliss who leads Worcester City Council. Both have told me about the challenges their councils have faced, but also how incredibly hard the staff have been working to deliver for residents here in Worcester.

“That’s why I am delighted that our Government has supported council leaders across Worcestershire with an extra £76 million since March last year, helping to protect vital services and ensure our council has the resources it needs to support our community.

“This shows that the Conservatives are delivering on their promise to support vulnerable families and local people during the pandemic, and I am confident this will continue.”

Commenting, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said:

“From the start of the pandemic, we committed to ensuring that councils had the resources they needed to step up and support their communities.

“That commitment remains undimmed, which is why we have provided councils with more than £7 billion of additional funding for Covid-19 expenditure, and will continue to ensure they have the resources they need to provide vital local services and held their communities build back better from the pandemic.”