Cost of Covid to Scarborough Borough Council has halved, says finance director

The amount of borrowing Scarborough Council may have to make to cover its Covid-19 losses has halved, its finance director has revealed.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 3:05 pm

Nick Edwards told a meeting of the borough authority’s cabinet today that the overall cost of the pandemic to the council had dropped from more than £10m estimated in September, to £8.6m.

The cabinet was told that the reasons for the change in fortune was primarily down to more income than had been forecast from street car parking, lower than forecasted expenditure on homelessness provision and an extra £644,000 in funding from the government.

In total, after government grants have been calculated the council has to find £3.6m to cover its budget shortfall.

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Scarborough Town Hall.

The government allows authorities to spread council tax and business rate debt into future years so Scarborough Council is proposing to pay off £1.5m over the next three years.

That leaves £2.039m which it is proposed to be funded through borrowing, which would cost the council approximately £86,000 a year.

The amount of borrowing has reduced by more than £2m since the last financial monitoring report was produced in October.

There was, however, a note of caution to councillors about the potential impact of the new restrictions that are currently in place.

Mr Edwards told the cabinet: “This report comes with a bit of a health warning as this was prior to the lockdown situation but it does give a good indication as to what the Covid costs to this council are.”

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