Hackney Council is facing a funding gap of up to £19 million. I know other councils in the UK are in a much worse position, with some (not Hackney) technically bankrupt.
Councils are a vital provider of frontline services. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government promised to pay back councils for all Covid-related emergency spending. There are now concerns the Government is backtracking from this. The Public Accounts Committee is on the case.
I am also pressing the Government for better detail on its exit plan, including how schools and other workplaces are able to operate safely. It’s appalling that the Government is announcing a return to school without proper discussions with the unions and headteachers. I’m also pressing for Hackney to be made a pilot for the new test, track, and trace approach. See me discuss this and more in my new weekly round-up above.