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Covid-19 Lockdown: Local Authority Support

Volume 684: debated on Monday 16 November 2020

What financial support the Government is providing to local authorities during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown. (908789)

Since the start of the pandemic, we have provided over £7.2 billion directly to councils. We have also confirmed further support for local authorities through the extension of the contain outbreak management fund, and Cornwall will receive an extra £35 million from the additional resources grant and business grants for closed businesses.

I thank the Government for their generous support to councils during this difficult time. I have two very important crossings across the Tamar in my constituency, owned by Cornwall and Plymouth councils, which have run into financial difficulty. How does my right hon. Friend the Minister advise that this situation should be resolved?

I know that this is a hugely important matter for my hon. Friend and her constituents. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have provided Cornwall Council with over £60 million and over £30 million to Plymouth City Council. Local authorities should be able to claim for relevant irrecoverable losses from toll bridges and roads. These losses have a named category in the form through which local authorities make their claims. However, it is for local authorities to be responsible for making sure that the claims that they make under the scheme meet the principles that we set out. We would advise her local authorities to consider these carefully before making any submissions.