Decision details

The County Council’s Response to COVID-19

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

An update regarding the Council's response to the COVID-19 situation including impact on services and an analysis of the financial position.

Decisions:

Philip Atkins

 

 

“Underpinning all we do at the Council is the basic responsibility to ensure all Staffordshire people are safe and well. Working with partner organisations and communities, we are pulling together like never before to win the war against coronavirus and Covid-19, and by easing the pressure, support our incredible NHS.

 

Every day I’m continually hearing about the amazing work of our staff, carers, volunteers, friends and neighbours who are stepping up and doing their bit.

 

This report details our leadership role and rapid action to protect the most vulnerable, support the county’s care sector, promote public health and help deliver the Government’s Covid-19 action plan. Our staff are working tirelessly round the clock with partners and volunteers to meet this once-in-a-generation challenge and I thank each and every one of them. We are also thinking ahead to the long term impact the pandemic will have on the county and our people, with work already underway to ensure Staffordshire, our people and the economy make a swift recovery.”

 

Philip Atkins OBE, Leader of the Council

 

Two months ago this Council approved a balanced budget for the year ahead and noted the progress being made to reduce our costs by £62m and balance our books over the next five years.

 

Today, as our world has changed, we now rightly focus all of our energy as a Council on fighting Covid-19 and keeping Staffordshire people safe and well, our financial outlook from two months ago has and is changing significantly and rapidly.

 

While it is far too early to predict the full cost of the pandemic on the Council’s finances, we are working hard to understand the short, medium- and long-term impacts.

 

We are already lobbying government to ensure we receive the full financial support we need to meet the enormous costs to this Council in order to win the fight against coronavirus and emerge from this period with the financial stability and funding we need to help the people of this county, and for our Staffordshire economy to recover.”

 

Mike Sutherland, Cabinet Member for Finance

 

Reasons for the Decision – To consider the progress made to date on assessing the current Coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the Council services and finances.

 

Decision (a) That the progress made to date in responding to the current Coronavirus pandemic be noted.

 

(b) That the additional government funding of £22.296m be allocated to the 2020/21 revenue budget with authority given to individual members of the Senior Leadership Team (in consultation with the Leader and Deputy Leader where practicable) to incur expenditure (up to a maximum of £2m per item of expenditure) against this budget where it is considered necessary by the Council ’s Incident Management Team or the Senior Leadership Team (sitting as Gold Command) to address the implications arising from the Covid-19 emergency. Any items of expenditure in excess of £2m will continue to require authorisation by Cabinet in the usual way.

Report author: Rob Salmon

Publication date: 16/04/2020

Date of decision: 15/04/2020

Decided at meeting: 15/04/2020 - Cabinet

Effective from: 22/04/2020

Accompanying Documents: