£4m coronavirus emergency funding

COUNCILLORS have approved a £4 million emergency funding package to support Inverclyde’s residents and businesses through the coronavirus crisis.

Members of the council’s Policy & Resources Committee unanimously agreed to make money immediately available to ease financial pressures caused by the Covid-19 global health pandemic.

In addition, the local authority’s chief financial officer has ‘served notice’ on a £10m investment that will become available on 15 April.

Until then, a further £10m of scheduled borrowing has been brought forward three months earlier than planned to support services and staff, as well as residents, partners and local businesses throughout the community.

Councillor Stephen McCabe, Leader of Inverclyde Council and Convener of Policy & Resources, said: “Our primary focus is the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The scale of the challenge may be enormous but so is the commitment of our staff. Words cannot express my gratitude for their efforts to help our community.

“We want to reassure residents, businesses and our employees that during these unprecedented and extremely difficult times and in the weeks and months that lie ahead, the council is here to offer its support in addition to the assistance on offer from the UK and Scottish governments.”

The council will be at the forefront of processing and administering various business and welfare grants being made available by the respective governments over the coming weeks and months to help individuals and organisations affected by the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent shutdown of many local firms.

Councillors agreed at the meeting – the last before all non-essential committees were suspended due to the health emergency – that £3.8m of the council’s contingency reserve can be used to cover unforeseen costs arising from the coronavirus crisis.

Elected members were told that the local authority ‘has the financial resilience’ and a ‘robust platform’ to deal with the ‘short, medium and potentially longer term implications’ of the Covid-19 outbreak.

For help and advice and to find out what support is available to you, visit www.inverclyde.gov.uk/coronavirus.