Aldershot News & Mail : 2020-07-08

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7 NEWS & MAIL WEDNESDAY, JULY 8, 2020 News County faces £195m coronaviru­s crisis bill HAMPSHIRE COUNCIL PREPARING RECOVERY PLAN Hampshire County Council offices, in Winchester By MARIA ZACCARO received £54m from central government. Earlier this year, county bosses also approved plans to save £80m by 2021. During the meeting, Mr Carr said work on the approved saving programmes needs to be resumed. “What we can’t do is assume that the government is going to bail us out,” he added. “It is critical we deliver these savings.” Cllr Keith House, opposition leader at HCC, said the government needs to honour its promise and fund local authoritie­s. Following the meeting, HCC leader Keith Mans said the authority is in a better financial position than many other councils, but he added: “We are optimistic about continued central government financial support to local government and con- will continue to ask the government for support. The figures were released during a meeting of the policy and resources select committee on Thursday. June 25. Rob Carr, HCCs head of finance, told members it is thought this year the authority will have almost £110m unfunded. Talking to members, he added: “We are going to keep saying to the government you need to stick to what you said, which is spend the money and we will reimburse you. “We need the government to fund the deficit.” Mr Carr told councillor­s that there are indication­s of a future government grant, “but we don’t know when and how much,” he added. Over the past months, HCC THE coronaviru­s crisis is set cost Hampshire County Council (HCC) more than £195 million, with more than a half of it currently unfunded, it has been revealed. HCC is set to foot a £195.5m bill due to the pandemic, with £109.6m being unfunded. The council said the bill includes costs and losses in the current financial year, as well as savings programme losses for a further two years and market underwriti­ng costs. It is now preparing a recovery plan to be presented to the council later this month. HCC said it is not considerin­g emergency spending controls, the so-called section 114 notice, but it Council has received a total of £54m from this to deal with the pressures of coronaviru­s, while its core spending power increased by £55m this financial year, even before additional emergency funding was announced. “This is part of a wider package of support from across government for local communitie­s and businesses – totalling over £27bn. “We are working on a comprehens­ive plan to ensure councils’ financial sustainabi­lity over the financial year ahead – we will continue to work closely with them to ensure they are managing their costs and we have a collective understand­ing of the costs they are facing.” tinue to press ministers on a clear commitment for our sector. “But we must make appropriat­e budget plans now, based on all circumstan­ces. “The report to be considered by the cabinet and the county council will set out a ‘response package’ based on various scenarios, including one where we won’t receive any more government funding – and options for considerat­ion will include the short-term use of reserves.” Minister for Local Government Simon Clarke said councils have received a total of £3.2 billion worth of emergency funding. He added: “Hampshire County 2for 1 A GLOBAL LEADER IN HEARING CARE 1950 – 2020 Exclusive offer ends on 31st July - don’t miss out! A smile behind every mask on selected hearing aids BOOK YOUR FREE 7 DAY HEARING AID TRIAL TODAY FREEPHONE 0800 912 7831 We are safely opening our hearing clinics quote RE060720 We’re on a high street near you r valid on selected hearing aids. Amplifon Limited is registered in England 1315581. Registered office: Gateway House, Styal Road, Manchester M22 5WY. Amplifon Limited only offers credit products from e Trust Bank PLC trading as V12 Retail Finance. Amplifon Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Our registrati­on number is 684890. Credit provided subject to age, terms and status. Rated ‘Excellent’ on PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTE­D BY PRESSREADE­R PressReade­ +1 604 278 4604 . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW

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