Councils to share additional £257m to help tackle COVID-19

Councils to share additional £257m to help tackle COVID-19

Ben Macpherson

Councils across Scotland are to receive a share of £257.6 million of additional funding from the Scottish Government.

The funding for vital local services, such as food provision for those in need, education and social care, has been approved by the Scottish Parliament.

The provision of a further £72m is being agreed with COSLA and will be subject to Parliamentary approval in due course. This will bring the total additional funding provided to help Scotland’s local authorities combat coronavirus to almost £330m.

This extra funding is on top of the local government finance settlement of £11.4 billion, which already provided an increase of £589.4m (5.8%) compared to the previous year.

To prevent local authorities experiencing cash flow problems the Scottish Government is providing £455m in weekly advanced payments to councils until Parliamentary approval is secured. Councils received an additional £150m in May, £255m in June, and will receive £50m in July.

Ben Macpherson, public finance minister, said: “We have taken exceptional measures in every area of government as we deal with the challenges of COVID-19 - and that is particularly clear in our support for local services. To date, Scotland’s councils have received £405m in advanced payments this financial year, and by the end of July this will have risen to £455m.

“The Scottish Government has also relaxed current guidance on some of the education grants to allow additional resource to be diverted to the COVID-19 response.

“We will continue to work with COSLA and local authorities, as well as pressing the UK Government for urgent additional funding and flexibility for our partners in local government.”

  • Read all of our articles relating to COVID-19 here.
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