Members received a verbal update on the current position regarding Welsh Government funding and policy announcements, including grants to small businesses, Economic Resilience Fund and NNDR business rates relief, from the Director of Finance and Corporate Services.
It was noted that Welsh Government were looking at making further grant awards to different bodies and organisations in the coming weeks, in addition to the £24.4 million already paid out to 2221 organisations.
An update was given on the funding to the Council and the services it provides (local government finance funding):
· £30 million was made available initially (£7 million for free school meals, £10 million for homeless and £13 million for general services),
· £40 million further was made available for the social care hardship fund to end of May,
· £33 million further for free school meals until end of August,
· £3 million for IT for vulnerable children who have no access to technology.
Further Welsh Government funding announcements were expected shortly.
Members noted that £500 would be paid to care workers by the Welsh Government – it was anticipated this money would go directly to the residential care providers for distribution, as the service was no longer provided in house within the Council. Eligibility for the payment was as yet unclear, but further updates would be provided to Members when available.
£63,000 had been reimbursed to the Council from the Welsh Government for the month of March for increased expenditure due to the Covid 19 pandemic, and a claim for £814,000 had been submitted for April.
Information had been submitted via the Welsh Local Government Association to the Welsh Government regarding loss of income and the impact on Council Tax support and collection – the Director was awaiting clarification re any possible funding to come out of this.
A budget monitoring review would take place before the end of May to identify the consequences of these issues on Council budgets. The Director advised Members that an early budget monitoring report would be presented at the next meeting of Cabinet for discussion.
That the verbal update be noted.