Ernie Clark. Hilperton Division, Wiltshire Council.

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Friday April 17, 2020 Local Government Association news.

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English councils 'on brink of financial failure'

The LGA has warned that the coronavirus crisis is pushing them to the brink of financial failure, with increased costs from supporting vulnerable people at the same time as income from fees and rates is falling.

It has called for the Government to provide a "cast-iron commitment" to cover the full costs of coronavirus-related work and compensate councils for lost income.

Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the LGA’s Resources Board, said: “Additional funding is urgently needed to help councils get through this crisis, support the vulnerable and adapt to life once we defeat this virus, when our local services will be needed more than ever to help communities rebuild.”

In a letter sent by Cllr Watts to Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, seen by the BBC, the LGA warns councils will need to embark on “extreme cost-cutting” without a guarantee of full funding. He said the "point of focus" for the Government should be ensuring local authorities have "confidence that the Government will support them".