Hampshire awarded less cash per person than most areas in country to deal with Covid-19
LESS CASH has been awarded to Hampshire per person to deal with the coronavirus pandemic than most places in the country, new data has shown.
Across England the county placed 145th out of 151 local council areas for the amount of funding given to cover additional costs and make up for lost income during the outbreak.
The area covered by Hampshire County Council - and district councils including Fareham, Havant and Gosport – was given £68,180,991 across two separate funding announcements.
According to the BBC Shared Data Unit, when spread across Hampshire's 1,376,316 residents the cash worked out as £49.54 per resident, one of the lowest amounts in England.
There were concerns that government would need to keep providing cash to meet the extra costs to authorities. A spokesman for the Local Government Association said: ‘Government will need to provide ongoing and consistent funding to meet all the extra costs local authorities are facing due to the additional demands created by Covid-19, as well as delivering "business as usual" services.’
In Portsmouth the city council was given £11,950,743, working out as £55.55 per resident – 89th in the country.
Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said: 'Like many other councils, Portsmouth is seeing exceptional demand for its services while also experiencing a serious loss of income.
'We welcomed recent news from the secretary of state, Robert Jenrick, who stressed that the government would ensure councils are fully compensated for coronavirus related services they are asked to provide. So far the support announced by government will cover about half of the overall financial impact on the council, leaving a shortfall of around £12m.'
He added: 'The council continues to take a responsible approach to its finances to protect vital public services into the future. But, without further government support to cover this shortfall, we will inevitably have to make some difficult choices about the level of services we can continue to provide and some of the projects that we have previously agreed to deliver, at a time when the re-instatement of council services is vital and the recovery of the city's economy critical.'
The lowest amount per person was £43.38 in Wokingham, in Berkshire. Knowsley in Merseyside fared best with £72.84.