Boris Johnson
Liverpool City Region authorities have begged Johnson for support during the pandemic

Johnson to review funding for Liverpool and Knowsley

Sarah Townsend

The Prime Minister has pledged to re-examine allocations from Whitehall to help Liverpool and Knowsley tackle the economic fallout of Covid-19, after the city region slammed the support it has received during the crisis.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said at the start of the lockdown that local authorities would be compensated for the money they are paying to support citizens.

But many feel they have not been given enough. Steve Rotheram, metro mayor for the Liverpool City Region, described Government attempts to provide support to local authorities during the pandemic as a “disgrace” during a virtual press conference last week, and said the city region is “down £137m” due to the crisis.

Knowsley Council has a £10m funding gap, while Liverpool City Council reportedly has a £44m funding black hole and officers are considering filing a motion to bring in emergency spending measures.

In Parliament yesterday, Garston and Halewood MP Maria Eagle questioned Boris Johnson on how the Government would address steep funding issues facing councils such as Liverpool and Knowsley.

She said: “Liverpool City Council and Knowsley Borough Council have both received less than half of what they have spent so far, despite having one of the worst outbreaks in the country and already having lost two-thirds of their government funding in the last ten years.

“So, will the Prime Minister now undertake to reimburse them for the full costs of Covid-19 as promised at the start of this outbreak?”

Johnson responded: “As the Right Honourable lady knows we have invested an extra £3.2bn into local councils, but I will take away what she has said about Liverpool City Council and Knowsley Council and I will take it up with the Secretary for Communities and Local Government.”

Cllr Jayne Aston, Knowsley Council’s cabinet member for resources, said in a statement to Place North West: “At the outset of this crisis, local councils were told that the Government would do ‘whatever it takes’ to support us, to support our residents. Sadly, our latest funding allocation doesn’t reflect that promise.

“In Knowsley, we are facing a potential funding black hole of £10m, maybe even more, and after 10 years of austerity we do not have the capacity or reserves to fill that gap ourselves.

“There is no recognition of the actual need here and that simply means that the impact of Covid-19 will potentially be greater for residents in Knowsley, in Liverpool and across the Liverpool City Region. How can that be fair?

“So, I very much hope that the Prime Minister does stick to his promise and takes the time to understand and address the challenges we face in our region.”

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “I welcome the intervention by Maria Eagle to raise the hugely critical issue of the dire financial situation of councils directly with the Prime Minister. The fact is many local authorities have responded magnificently to the Covid-19 pandemic – despite the huge pressures it has put them under.

“Unfortunately, we now know areas of high deprivation have been more adversely affected, and when you factor in the debilitating impact of austerity on frontline services its little wonder such councils are now facing the very real prospect of bankruptcy through no fault of their own.

“The Government promised it would support councils with whatever it takes. We expect the government to honour that commitment.”

A spokesperson for Liverpool City Council added that the council is working to finalise the details of a strategy for releasing the city from lockdown over the coming weeks. The council is in talks with government, business stakeholders and unions on the logistics of a phased implementation, the spokesperson added.

Manchester City Council’s executive published a report last week predicting a three-to-five coronavirus recovery period and mapping out a strategy for maintaining growth and development to bounce back from a £150m loss.

 

 

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Sigh.

By Michael McDonut

I live in l36. My lad in ♿ never had any help in anyway. This just feels like another day to me i cant go out to work becouse i have to look after son n pay bedroom tax even so house was made for my sons needs n they will not pay my full rent so who do they look after

By Lyndsey

Love BoJo, best PM since Thatcher

By Dan

Disgracefuĺ treatment by Tory gov .
Why hasent g Haworth been asking these questions and lobbying the government for Knowsley

By Peter reilly

Dear Mr Dan: Toryism is great. Perhaps for you and the other 10,000 wealthiest. Conservative Party: formed around the early 1800s to conserve/protect the privileges and wealth of the land-owning/wealthiest. That changed with Thatcher. Her adopted Marketist ideology destroys society, to grow the wealth of the wealthy. Marketism is essentially as simple-minded as Marxism, don’t you think? And BoJo? No ideals or principles: just a self-loving, over-ambitious, blabber-mouth, just like Cameron. The purpose of Tory marketism is to extract wealth from any SPACE, not to make it liveable, socially useful, or even (gasp) pleasant to behold. Sorry Mr. Dan but I have to disagree with you there. I hope we can still be friends.

By James Yates

This issue actually goes to the centre of the metrics the Treasury use to allocate public money. It is good this issue has been raised and taken up, and hopefully the way central government allocates money across all aspects of spending will be genuinely revisited on the back of CV-19. It is quite enduring just how long people on all sides of the political spectrum have been calling for change in this regard.

By Anonymous

Why do we as one of the best citys always get looked down at I’ve got four jobs and all my family work some people might not be able to work so have to rely on government money which I bet they don’t like doing but to survive they have to mr Johnson I would love you to come and live in there shoes for a week and see what it’s like we aren’t all born with silver spoons in our mouths and as for local businesses do you think they want hand outs of government probley not but at this present time the whole country needs it so why should liverpool and knowsley not get the same help as everyone else amen

By Kelly

Johnson a man of his word of course. Good luck finding a dinghy Liverpool and Knowsley!

By John Smith