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Council Finances during Covid Crisis

by Craig Martin on 10 June, 2020

Durham County Council has worked to maintain its statutory functions during this pandemic, but there is an added financial cost to all of this. There have been approximately £25 million increase in expenses, for example in having to buy excess personal protection equipment, additional costs in maintaining refuse collections while being socially distant (needing more wagons) etc. While there has been a loss of income approximately £25 million, from not being able to collect any fees for those using leisure centres, parking fees etc.

This means that total cost pressures on the Council stand at around £50 million. Central government has provide an additional £33 million of emergency funding. Thus the Council expect to have a £17 million deficit at the end of this financial year compared to where we would be if Covid had not had been a factor.

I’ve been questioning whether there is a need for an emergency budget to reassess what we’re intending to spend money on. Durham County Council does not feel that is necessary and believe that the projected £17 million can be absorbed without the need to cut back on projects we’re already committed to. While there is also the hope that additional funding will come from the government.

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