Hackney funding gap could hit services

Public Finance reports that Hackney council has warned that its funding gap could be as high as £19m this year, due to the cost of emergency coronavirus measures. Council forecasts suggest that funding will cover less than half of front-line funding.

The borough is expected to receive £17m from thegovernment’s emergency support fund, but emergency measures in areas including adult social care, education, and the maintenance of measures including refuse disposal, could reach £36m over the next three months alone.

Mayor Philip Glanville said:

“At the start of the pandemic councils like Hackney were told by the government to ‘spend whatever it takes’ to respond to the crisis. In Hackney, we have rightly been committing millions of pounds of funding to respond to the coronavirus crisis and ensure support is available to residents and businesses – often in advance of receiving any money or guidance from the government and while experiencing deep falls in income.

While the government’s latest funding announcement at the weekend was welcome, ministers must renew that clear commitment that they made at the start and promise to back our staff delivering vital social care, waste and other services during this crisis – not just with platitudes, but with money.”

At an emergency cabinet meeting earlier this week, the council earmarked £17.7m of further coronavirus-related spending.

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