Delivering for B&NES residents – despite coronavirus financial shock

By BathNES Lib Dems 🔶, Jun 16, 2020 5:06

Lib Dem Council leaders are still committed to delivering for residents and are taking swift action to put the Council on a firm financial footing, after coronavirus-related costs left a sudden £53m hole in the B&NES budget.

The Lib Dems have underlined their commitment to maintaining essential services and funding priorities such as the climate emergency, improving streets and local transport.

Deputy Council Leader, Richard Samuel, is supervising the financial recovery plan. He said:

“The Council’s finances have been hit by a double-whammy of extra spending to help local people get through lockdown, coupled with a huge loss of our income from property and tourism attractions.

“Government pledged to cover pandemic-related costs, but those promises have evaporated, and Councils have been left to pick up the pieces. B&NES has received less than a fifth of the money we need from central funding.

“Council income helps fund the essential services our residents rely on – such as waste collections and carers. We must grasp the nettle and put a recovery plan in place straight away.

“Savings have to be found, but we are determined that our plans to tackle the climate emergency, to improve our streets and local transport and to get going on long-awaited projects will be protected.

“We are still ambitious for B&NES. Our priorities are still to put residents first and safeguard frontline services.

“We are also working hard with partners and businesses to help the local economy recover from this massive hit, so that B&NES residents can look forward to a safe and prosperous future.”

Councils across England are facing large income losses, including £80m in Bristol.

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