Haringey takes a stand on Covid finances
The council has taken a stand together to renew calls on government to deliver on their promise to provide adequate funds to support residents and local businesses through the coronavirus pandemic.
Haringey have prioritised keeping residents safe and have spent millions to protect and support the most vulnerable, support public health measures and adapt council services to continue to serve residents and businesses.
The global Covid-19 pandemic is having a huge impact on Haringey Council’s finances, with legacy impacts deteriorating our finances in years to come. The borough is once again calling on central government to stick to their word and fully reimburse local authorities.
Haringey Council have sent a letter to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State asking for the following actions:
• Extra support for the most vulnerable with a winter support package, additional assistance and help for those who are deemed clinically extremely vulnerable, and a £20 increase to Universal Credit.
• Financial security for local authorities in 2020/21 and 2021/22, via confirmed grant funding.
• Safe and secure housing including the extension of the ban on evictions, and a return to ‘Everyone In’ rough sleeping policy to at least the end of March 2021.
• Protect incomes and employment including no-one’s income falling below the national minimum wage when the current furlough scheme ends in March 2021.
• Take urgent and immediate action to improve and localise Test and Trace.
• Fully fund an emergency support package for hardest hit sectors including culture, leisure, arts, sport and hospitality, with a particular consideration of the small business sector.
• A commitment to work with all councils as leaders in our communities and transparency on the criteria by which future decisions on restrictions will be made.
• Greater support for local authorities’ enforcement role and more funding for police capacity to support local authorities with enforcement action.
Cllr Joseph Ejiofor, Leader of Haringey Council, said:
“We simply cannot afford for central government to go back on their word now and I have sent a strong letter to outline the support that is needed to protect our residents and the NHS.
“We must focus on delivering services on the front line now – we can’t be looking over our shoulders worrying about how we pay for it tomorrow.
“Westminster were adamant that we have to protect our residents and stop the spread of this global virus. Local authorities were told that we should do what is necessary and that national government would reimburse us later.
“We have stepped up during this pandemic working closely with our communities to ensure our assistance covers a wide range of welfare needs – now we need the assurance that national government will keep to its word and fund local government appropriately.”
Haringey have already introduced a host of measures to help keep people safe that included:
• Over 10,000 people were supported by our Connected Communities (first point of contact for any residents who need extra help) scheme during the lockdown period.
• Created a food distribution operation at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Alexandra Palace that delivered over 20,500 food parcels to over 3,300 households.
• Spending £1.6million a year to expand the Council Tax Reduction scheme that is benefitting thousands of residents across the borough.
• Have increased the maximum level of support to 100% for working age claimants with children, as already given to pensioners and disabled claimants and benefits some of our most vulnerable residents.
• We have made significant additional funding available to care workers in Haringey through the introduction of London Living Wage across all care settings and have approved additional uplifts to the sector to cover the costs of any additional sick pay required through the course of the pandemic.
• We have placed over 700 people experiencing homelessness in emergency accommodation.
• Keeping all the contact services running and turning a number of services online to help residents
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