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Government funding for most vulnerable is “peanuts”, says Council Leader

Release Date: 05 November 2020

The Leader of Richmond Council has criticised the Government after it emerged that councils will get just £14.60 per head to support clinically vulnerable residents advised to stay at home during the second lockdown.

Some residents have been identified by the NHS as being clinically extremely vulnerable as they have specific medical conditions that makes them at higher risk of severe illness if they contract COVID-19. In Richmond upon Thames there are over 6,900 residents on the list, including 257 children and young people.

The Government is advising those in this category to follow very careful guidance to ensure they can stay safe and well.

Councils are then being asked to offer to support to these individuals, offering help such as home support or accessing food. They have given councils just £14.60 per person to offer this support during this second lockdown. Richmond has been allocated £102,000.

Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said:

“It is essential that during the lockdown we are able to keep our most vulnerable residents safe. This money is nothing short of – peanuts!

"The Government must explain how they arrived at this figure. You can't support communities on the cheap. Those who are clinically vulnerable might need additional services - home care for example, and if they are isolating, practical support like shopping or food deliveries. What does £14.60 cover?

“Working with our voluntary sector, we will do all we can over the next few weeks, and of course we will make sure that people have the help they need. But, it is really pitiful that the Government thinks we can do that for a measly 52 pence a day!”

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P437/20

Updated: 24 March 2021