£85 million for Black Country and Staffordshire councils in Covid-19 battle
Councils across the Black Country and Staffordshire have received almost £85 million in new funding to help tackle the coronavirus crisis.
Around £64m of the government funding will help local authorities respond to pressures across the services they deliver, such as adult social care and bin collections, while £20.7m is from a hardship fund to provide council tax relief to vulnerable people and households.
Staffordshire has been allocated £28.3m, including a £6m hardship fund, Sandwell has received £17m, Dudley got £13.3m and Wolverhampton was given £12.7m. Walsall Council received £13.5m.
The bulk of the funding will be used to enhance the NHS discharge process, speeding up the process of patients returning home once they no longer need urgent treatment and freeing up bed space.
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Nationally it is hoped up to 15,000 hospital beds will be made available for patients with coronavirus.
The cash has been welcomed by MPs from across the region.
Wolverhampton North East MP Jane Stevenson, said: "The coronavirus outbreak is putting lots of pressure on public services, including local authorities, so I’m very pleased to see this huge support package from Government.
"It is absolutely crucial that people and families in Wolverhampton are receiving the necessary financial support.
"This extra £13 million from Government will go a long way towards ensuring that help is available for the most vulnerable people in our city.
"I am working with the city council, our NHS and the local resilience forum to make sure that social care and other vital public services continue to be delivered now and in the days and weeks ahead."
Local Government Secretary, Robert Jenrick said: "The work of local authorities to deliver social care and other vital public services has never been more important than it is now – and will be – in the days and weeks ahead.
"That’s why we’re giving local councils additional funding to spend where it’s needed most, to ensure they can meet the cost of the increased demand for social care, and continue to protect the most vulnerable people in society."
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