Help us persuade the government to pay us what they promised

23 Jun

Redbridge Council has today launched a campaign to ask the government to fulfil their promise to fund the local government coronavirus response.

In March 2020, The Rt. Hon Robert Jenrick MP (Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government) told 300 councils in the UK:

“My absolute priority is to ensure [councils] are well placed to respond to coronavirus and protect vital services, including social care. The government will provide whatever funding is needed for councils to get through this and come out the other side.”

Based upon this promise and our commitment to delivering for local people, we stepped up and protected our most vulnerable residents.

Over the last few months we have created new services including the wellbeing service and a new domestic abuse support service, Reach Out. We delivered medication to the vulnerable, food to children who would normally be dependent on school dinners and essential PPE to our care homes. We developed online health and wellbeing support for residents, advice for businesses and new ways for our young people at risk to get help and remain safe.

Below is a list of just some of our achievements during this time:

  • 1,700 packed lunches delivered to vulnerable children
  • 157 rough sleepers helped off the streets
  • 654 volunteers signed up
  • 200 pharmacy pickups
  • 801 food parcels delivered
  • 19,486 calls to residents
  • 4.25m items of PPE sourced
  • 50 parks and open spaces kept open safely

So far our Coronavirus response has cost us £60.5m. We have only received £15.7m from government and there are no forthcoming plans to fund more. As a result there is a £45m funding gap.

We’re asking the government to keep their promise and pay us back the £45m the people of Redbridge are owed. The stark reality is that if the government does not pay us back we will be forced to take drastic measures and consider reducing our services.

Help us persuade the government to pay us what they promised! Sign our petition now.

Redbridge Council Leader Councillor Jas Athwal speaks to Tim Donovan from BBC news