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News of an extra £600m Government support package for councils has been welcomed with caution in Suffolk.





A £600m Government support package for local councils has been welcomed with caution by Suffolk councillors.

Levelling Up Secretary, Michael Gove, announced yesterday that the Government would roll out a £600m support package to help local councils in delivering key services.

He said: "We have listened to councils across England about the pressures they’re facing and have always stood ready to help those in need."

Suffolk County Council leader Matthew Hicks
Suffolk County Council leader Matthew Hicks

The funding is separated into a £500m earmarked grant to bolster councils' social care budgets and £100m in other funding guarantees and grants.

Social care provision in Suffolk, particularly as it relates to children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), is a contentious topic as high prices and increasing demand continue to prove difficult when balancing the books.

Cllr Matthew Hicks, the county council's leader, welcomed the extra money but with some caution.

He said: "We very much welcome the announcement of further Government funding for councils. It appears that the lobbying by our MPs, councils across the country and ourselves has paid off.

"This helps, but does not solve, the financial challenges we are facing. We will now consider how this will impact our budget-setting for next year."

Cllr Andrew Stringer, leader of the opposing cross-party group, said: "This move is welcome but a mere fraction of what is required to properly recognise the vital work our councils fulfil."

The amount of money Suffolk councils will get is expected to be revealed early next month.