Coronavirus: North Yorkshire residents who struggle to pay household expenses to be given cash help

North Yorkshire County Council has told its huge workforce to work from home wherever possible and is looking to hold meetings virtually in response to the coronavirus.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Thursday, 19th March 2020, 3:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th March 2020, 3:02 pm

The authority has also pledged £1million for residents who suffer hardship in meeting household expenses as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Council leader Coun Carl Les said: “Supporting those in need is one of the most important things we can do. We have a vital role to play in helping our residents deal with the challenges ahead over the next few months.

“This additional funding will help those most in need with life’s essentials in what is already a very trying time.”

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North Yorkshire County Council’s workforce is the largest in the region with over 17,000 staff and it has cancelled some of its meetings scheduled to take place this week.

It comes after the government said it will do “whatever is necessary” to help councils focus their efforts on helping the vulnerable during the pandemic by introducing a string of emergency measures designed to ease pressure on authorities.

It has enforced a temporary suspension on Care Quality Commission inspections for the duration of the Covid-19 outbreak, as well as a pause on Ofsted inspections.

The measures also mean councils can now extend deadlines on Freedom of Information requests made to them and the deadline for local government financial audits has also been pushed back until the end of September.

The government is looking to bring forward legislation to remove the requirement for annual council meetings to take place in person and grant permission for some meetings to be held remotely.