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Coronavirus: West Suffolk Council to get £1.8m in second wave of government aid

A fresh injection of government cash to help local authorities tackle the coronavirus crisis has eased pressure but council leaders are warning that more support will be needed further down the line.

The Government confirmed its allocations to councils for a second wave of £1.6billion on Tuesday night, with Suffolk authorities receiving more than £21.5million.

West Suffolk Council, which covers Bury St Edmunds, will receive £1.8million of that while the overarching Suffolk County Council will get almost £14million.

West Suffolk House - home of West Suffolk Council Picture by Mecha Morton
West Suffolk House - home of West Suffolk Council Picture by Mecha Morton

The district and borough authorities received a significantly bigger settlement this time around, after councils submitted their estimates for additional spend and lost income from the coronavirus crisis a fortnight ago. In that, Ipswich Borough Council had been given £77,000 at the end of March, but that only covered its losses for a day and a half. Lost income for April alone was £1.2million. The authority has been given £1.3million in the latest wave of cash.

"A tremendous job under the circumstances."

David Ellesmere, Labour group leader in Ipswich, said: “The Government realised it hadn’t treated districts fairly in the first round. This has taken the immediate pressure off but we need to recognise what we've had so far has only covered us for a month."

Ipswich Conservative group leader Ian Fisher said the funding means the council can continue to do 'a tremendous job under the circumstances'.

Uncertainty remains over some income streams such as theatres, which are not expected to re-open soon, meaning the Government support packages are vital.