THE LEADER of York council, Cllr Keith Aspden, has written to government ministers to request £20m more in funds so the city can respond to the growing coronavirus cases in York.

Having declared a major incident locally, York council is prioritising resources to support residents and businesses across the city, but the funding announced by the Government to date is not expected to cover the essential actions.

The Government has announced £1.6bn of emergency funding to local authorities to support response efforts, but in York, this will be less than £5m. The council added that initial estimates suggest that the city will need £20m. 

Cllr Aspden, Leader of the City of York Council, said:

“The scale of this crisis means that the funding allocated to York, and other councils, is insufficient to support our communities’ and business needs over the coming months. It is quite clear that we require significantly more funding swiftly, as well as further legislation to relax borrowing rules, in order to allow us to do whatever is necessary to protect residents, communities and our local economy.

Locally, we have already committed to creating a local emergency fund to support our residents and businesses, and more detail will follow on that fund this week.  We have also moved Council resources to establish new volunteer and help hotlines, so we can focus our efforts on supporting the most vulnerable in the city.

“Moving forward, it is important that we know the additional costs of our response to coronavirus will not affect the council’s longer-term financial stability, which is already under significant pressure from increasing children and adult social care demand.  That is why I have written to the Secretary of State to urge the Government to make more funding available faster, in order to enable us to focus all our efforts in responding to the threat posed by coronavirus.”