'It's going to take £90 million for district to recover' - council and MP call on Government to give Wakefield district the funding it needs

As the economic costs of Covid-19 become clearer Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett and Wakefield Council leader Denise Jeffery have demanded central Government provide greater funding support to combat the financial crisis caused by the pandemic.

Monday, 13th July 2020, 5:40 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 6:54 pm
Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett

Wakefield’s Labour cabinet will consider an initial six month economic response plan on tomorrow - July 14.

Proposals have been drawn up by Wakefield council to submit a request for Government investment of £91.1 million to aid the district’s recovery.

One in eight Wakefield businesses have said they are in immediate financial jeopardy.

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One in 14 have stated they anticipate making redundancies as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Trickett and Coun Jeffery have expressed concern that many of the 48,800 workers furloughed across the district could be unemployed by October.

Wakefield Council face a budget gap of £15 million due directly to the Covid-19 pandemic and so Coun Jeffrey and Mr Trickett believe the £91.1 million investment request submitted by the council is key to the local economy’s recovery.

Coun Jeffery said: “Wakefield Council has been supporting our residents, our communities and local business in every way possible during the pandemic.

"Ensuring the financial resilience and safety of our business communities, residents and visitors has been and will remain a key priority for Wakefield council as we continue to lead the local response to this crisis.

"There were clear instructions from Government that Councils should spend whatever it takes to deliver a local response.

"The Government must stick to this promise and give councils, like ours, assurances that it will provide the additional funding needed to protect local authorities financially and ensure that our local area is able to recover from this crisis.”

Mr Trickett said: “The role Wakefield Council continues to play throughout this crisis, supporting our communities, providing essential services and protecting the vulnerable is truly heroic.

"However, with an October cliff-edge of unemployment approaching, the Government must do more to cover additional costs local authorities like Wakefield will face in the coming months due to the financial strain of Covid-19.

"Whatever funding is needed to rebuild communities like Wakefield, this must be provided.”