With a demeanour resembling someone who has just received a court summons the man who balances the boroughs books has painted a grim picture for Waverley’s medium and long-term financial plans post COVID.
Cllr Merryweather told his Executive colleagues on Tuesday that although there would not be an immediate concern from the proposed second lockdown, due to begin to-day Thursday, there would undoubtedly be consequences.
He said the council would incur an additional loss of income and was unsure of the benefits it would receive from the Governments Lost Income Grant.
Although the second lock-down was expected to be shorter, there would be consequences as a result. He hoped they would stay within the boundaries of the contingency in the draft revised budget that the council had set in August.
He hoped this would still be the case when the Medium Term Financial Plan went to full council in December. He explained as most of the work had been completed before the announcement of the second lockdown…
… “you wont be surprised to hear that further analysis will be required following the second phase. The consequences of COVID will impact on us severely next year, and in subsequent years.” Only one thing less reliable than the virus is the Government’s response to it and what we will get in line with the promises it made at the outset of the pandemic. Its performance against promises.”
Cllr Ann-Marie Rosoman Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety confirmed plans were already in place to support the community during the COVID emergency and deal with any incidents of homelessness in the borough during the coming months.