Councils in Oxfordshire say that the coronavirus pandemic could end up costing council tax payers £100 million by the end of the current financial year. All six councils in the county including South Oxfordshire have written to Housing and Local Government Minister Robert Jenrick to ask for more support. The letter said some councils would have to call on their reserves and some may not have enough money left to be financially sustainable.
In the letter, the leaders, from different political parties, said they welcomed emergency funding from the government in the past few weeks.This included £14.9 million of additional funding to councils in Oxfordshire – though they pointed out that only £0.3 million of this went to the smaller district and city councils.
The remaining £14.6 million was given to the county council, with the majority being used to fund social care needs.
The authorities are not fully funded by government grants or taxes but also from revenue generated by rents and services, such as car parking.
The leaders said those revenue streams have “all been severely damaged” by current restrictions and the impact on the county’s economy.”For some of the councils, the scale of lost income is of greater financial impact than the additional costs being incurred,” they added.