The the pandemic has cost the council £18.5million, according to the reportLouis Ashworth/VARSITY

Cambridge City Council is experiencing financial difficulty due to a lack of national government funding, a report produced by the Council has found.

The report, which was presented to the council’s Strategy and Resources Committee last week, outlines that the cost of the pandemic to the council is £18.5 million- costs which have not been fully covered by the government.

The increased spending is related to costs involved in housing homeless members of the community, and a loss of income from Council Tax, Cambridge Live events such as festivals, and car parking.

Government grants have covered £11.3m of these costs so far, leaving a shortfall of £7.2 million.

The situation is similar for many councils across the country, with a recent National Audit Office (NAO) report outlining the financial pressures faced by local authorities throughout the pandemic. These reductions amounted to £2.8 billion of non-tax income in the year 2020-21, and £6.9 billion overall.


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District councils around the UK have spent an additional £376m on Covid-related measures and suffered £1.45bn in lost income according to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Councillor Mike Davey, Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources at Cambridge City Council, said: “The government promised to cover council losses associated with the pandemic, but so far they have not delivered in full.”

He added: “It means that we may be forced to make some difficult decisions to ensure that essential services are not affected in the coming months and years. This would be due to the enforced reduction in income and lack of clarity over further government funding for councils.

“Over the last 16 months since the start of the pandemic, councils and council officers have really stepped up to play an absolutely vital role in countless ways to meet the challenges of the pandemic.

“During this period people have seen the very best of local councils. It would be ironic if the vital services we provide were threatened due to lack of government intervention – or we were again forced to use reserves which we have so carefully built up over many years.”