26th Oct, 2020

Impact of Covid-19 pandemic on borough council finances revealed

Ross Crawford 20th Sep, 2020

THE ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on borough council finances was laid out before members of the authority’s executive committee last Tuesday, September 8.

The authority, which was already in some financial difficulty before coronavirus hit, is steeling itself for massive losses leaving it reliant on expected helped from the government.

Councillors heard the authority is looking at losses of £2million in business rates, £1.6m in council tax, £750,000 from its arms length business Rubicon Leisure, and £106,000 in planning.

They are also planning for losses of between £1.2m and £2m in its housing revenue account – money paid in rent by its tenants.

To offset this the authority is scraping together its reserves and making cost savings wherever possible.

Councillors heard the government is paying particular attention to Redditch’s position as a landlord.

The authority is one of the few in the UK which still has a large number of homes – some 6,000 properties – and when compensation comes would be seen as a good example of the impact of Covid-19 on landlords.

Councillor David Thain (Con, West) whose portfolio covers finance, said: “We are managing as best we can, which is pretty well, and we are waiting for the government and I am sure they will come in with additional measures.”

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