To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities on the (a) format of support through grants and loans and (b) assessment of need for welfare assistance schemes during the covid-19 outbreak.
21 May 2020
Local government is an essential part of our response to COVID-19 and has mobilised to help us keep the country moving. We have been working together closely with councils to ensure they have the resources and support they need to support their communities. This has included issuing guidance, including:
- Guidance for local authorities on the Small Business Grants Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund was published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on GOV.UK on 24 March. On 1 May, the Business Secretary announced a third fund, the Local Authority Discretionary Fund. Guidance for this was published on GOV.UK on 13 May. Both sets of guidance can be found on the GOV.UK website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding
- The government has provided local authorities with a £500m hardship fund to enable them to provide additional council tax relief, with a focus on working-age recipients of Local Council Tax Support. The Department published guidance to councils on administration of the fund, which is available at the following address: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/874867/COVID-19_Council_Tax_Hardship_Fund_Guidance.pdf
To address the pressures councils are facing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic we have now made available £3.2 billion in grant funding, this will be un-ringfenced, recognising local authorities are best placed to decide how to meet the major COVID-19 service pressures in their local area.