Oxfordshire council leaders call on government to help ease funding pressures

Published: Wednesday, 4th November 2020

Oxfordshire councils have called on the Government for better financial support.

Not only for their continued Coronavirus response, which will become more significant and expensive in light of the second lockdown announcement, but also to ensure there is enough funding for councils to provide their day-to-day services for communities in the longer term.

In a joint letter to Robert Jenrick MP - Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Oxfordshire council leaders laid out the urgency of securing additional financial help for the communities and businesses they support.

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the finances of the councils, which have all had to re-forecast or revise their budgets to reflect the increased expenditure and lost income that Coronavirus has caused. The councils state that this situation cannot continue indefinitely without impacting front-line services.  

“We have continued to follow the original guidance from Government - to spend now to help vulnerable people and hard-pressed businesses through the pandemic, with a promise of full Government support for local authorities to come. However, while we have received some funding from Whitehall, it falls far short of the very significant financial impact on our Council.

“We urgently need the government to fulfil their promise to cover our Covid-19 related costs. Costs that include very significant income losses.

“Without adequate funding we, along with other local councils up and down the country, will have to make some very difficult decisions about the services we provide in future years.”

Cllr Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council

Read the full text of letter to Robert Jenrick from the Leaders of Oxfordshire councils.