Below the County Councils Network responds to the announcement, made during Prime Minister’s Questions.
Cllr David Williams, chairman of the County Councils Network, said:
“Every death from Coronavirus is a personal tragedy, and the number of those passing away from catching the virus in care settings is uncomfortably high. Therefore, we welcome today’s announcement over infection control, and we await further details on how the £600m funding should be used and distributed between councils.
“County authorities recognise the huge pressures faced by care home providers and it is in no-one’s interests to see a provider face financial failure. Whilst their support is not just financial, county authorities have overwhelmingly worked to pass on funds as quickly as possible, several months upfront.
“As welcome as today’s funding is to suppress the virus in our care homes, we must recognise that councils are facing additional cost pressures across the whole system. These stretch well beyond providing care homes with much needed additional resources, to all areas of adult social care, children’s services, special educational needs, and school transport, alongside our additional efforts to shield the most vulnerable and prevent the spread of the disease in our communities.
“Alongside this, we face a significant decline in our income, including potential significant drops in council tax and business rates over the course of the financial year. We have been calling for financial assurances for local authorities from the government to ensure medium-term financial sustainability, and we will set out further proposals in the coming days on how this can be achieved.”