16th Apr, 2021

Bromsgrove Council leader moves to correct Lib Dems' Covid cash 'underspend' claims

Tristan Harris 26th Sep, 2020 Updated: 26th Sep, 2020

THE LEADER of Bromsgrove Council has moved to clear up claims regarding £89,000 to put Covid-19 safety measures in place in the town centre.

Coun Karen May has responded to the town’s Liberal Democrats who claimed only ten per cent of the allocation had been spent.

Lib Dem Councillor Rob Hunter called for more of the cash to be invested in measures, such as free hand sanitiser and signage.

“Our local businesses have worked incredibly hard to reopen in a Covid secure way and I’m pleased we were able to get public health measures such as free hand sanitiser put in to support their efforts.

“With a second wave now sadly looking increasingly likely it is vital we do everything we can to avoid businesses having to close again.

“The time to invest the remaining funds to support our local shops in now.”

But Coun May said: “Firstly to clarify that we haven’t ‘underspent’ as the council was not ‘given’ the pot of cash to use as we wish.

“Rather there was strict criteria, set by Government, on how we could claim against the maximum available which was £89,000.

“As this is still taxpayers’ money we wanted to ensure we spent it wisely and at the same time using it to put in place the relevant safety measures like signs and hand sanitisers at sites earmarked in our plans which are constantly reviewed.”

She added the council was able to use its in-house design team and print brokerage processes to keep costs down.

“The money will not be returned to Government, as we were never given it in the first place.”

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