Councils need more support from Government or families will break apart and more people will die

Councillor Howard Sykes, Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Opposition Leader on Oldham Council, says the Government must stick to its promises – to help families and Councils.  Many people are living below the bread line, many are dependent on food banks.  Some families will become vulnerable to loan sharks or turn to crime in order to ‘put bread on the table’ for their family.  Councillor Sykes thinks it is imperative that the Government funds Councils properly so they can prevent problems like this arising.

Howard Sykes

Councils are being hit the hardest through loss of income much more than extra spending demands. In Oldham’s case loss of income are projected at £27M for 12 months compared to just over £19M on increased expenditure.  To date we have received £14.2M.

Oldham Borough has now overtaken other areas in Greater Manchester in terms of detected Covid-19 cases.  Oldham now ranks as the 15 highest Council area in England for Covid 19 cases.  This is according to the latest government statistics.

“Apart from the tragic deaths; which everyone is; many others will develop or accelerate chronic conditions that shorten life expectancy.  This will impact on all of us and burden the public sector with further demand.  Not just today or later this year but for years to come,” said Councillor Sykes.

“Loss of income for Councils is a much bigger issue for some than the additional costs caused by the Coronavirus crisis.  The support package being issued by the Government is welcome but does not address loss of income and does not address need and deprivation in areas like Oldham Borough.”

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