Tentative welcome for £600k cash boost for Portsmouth council

Transport Minister Jesse Norman with Cllr Donna Jones and Cllr Simon Bosher at one of the council's electric vehicle charging points

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HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds is to be pumped in to prop up Portsmouth City Council’s adult health and social care funding.

The government is ploughing in an additional £600,000 to the authority’s 2018/19 funds.

It comes as part of a major £150m drive to support cash-strapped councils across the UK in delivering their services.

Although grateful for the cash, civic leaders have said the move will only provide a one-off budget surge – not a permanent increase in funding that many councils are in desperate need of.

Councillor Donna Jones, who heads the city council, said: ‘We welcome any extra money from the government. But the fact is this £600,000 is only going to help for a single year – it is not a permanent increase in our budget.’

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, city Lib Dem boss and former vice-chairman of the Local Government Association, believes the national cash boost is a token gesture by the government.

He said: ‘This £150m is a tiny percentage of what’s needed – it’s one-fiftieth of what is really needed nationally.’