Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the LGA’s Resources Board, responds to the details around the further £1 billion announced for councils by the Government earlier this month, including £100 million for leisure services.
“It is good that the Government is providing further funding to help councils meet COVID-19 cost pressures. This much-needed support is helpful but significant challenges remain. It is vital that the Government addresses in full the financial challenges facing councils as a result of the pandemic, including all lost income and local tax losses.
“The immediate funding allocated for leisure centres will also help these services through the most difficult period they have faced, and enable them to be kept open in the short-term for the most disadvantaged communities who rely on them most.
“However, social distancing means leisure services will continue to face a challenging financial position for the foreseeable future. That is why it is also vital the Government’s Spending Review also provides further investment so councils can protect and improve local services both this and next year, including leisure facilities.”