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Tim Farron

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MP condemns Government decision to give South Lakeland and Eden less coronavirus support as ‘utter madness’

November 2, 2020 11:59 AM

Local MP Tim Farron has written to the Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, urging him to immediately reconsider plans to give South Lakeland and Eden £400,000 less in COVID-19 support than the other four local authority areas in Cumbria.

In the latest round of COVID-19 grants for local councils, the Government have changed the formula so that areas that had needed more financial support to cope with the effects of the pandemic earlier in the year will get less support now.

During the peak of the pandemic, South Lakeland and Eden had the highest furlough uptakes rates in the country.

In addition, South Lakeland has seen a fivefold increase in unemployment since the pandemic began.

Tim said: "It's utter madness that South Lakeland and Eden should be penalised by the Government for having been two of the worst hit areas by the COVID-19 crisis.

"It's an unbelievably stupid assumption that just because they needed more support back in the Spring and the Summer, they won't need much going into Winter.

"Just like the school exams fiasco, this appears to be the Government yet again putting their faith in a tinpot algorithm.

"Local businesses are ringing my office every day in desperation, faced with laying off staff or closing their doors for good. I'd like to see the brainiacs in Whitehall who came up with this formula tell these people that South Lakeland and Eden will be fine with less support."