The Leader of the Basildon Council Gavin Callaghan has urged central Government to help fund a three to six month break from Council Tax, council rents, and better sick pay for all.

In a letter written to the Secretary of State he has asked for reassurance and clarity from the Government that they will reimburse councils for significant losses of income from shutting facilities to deal with coronavirus, as well as for extra costs incurred supporting essential activities for residents.

Read the full text of the letter here...

19 March 2020


Dear Secretary of State,


Thank you to you and your officials for the support you continue to give councils like ours working hard to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. The measures already put in place by MHCLG and other government departments will certainly help councils to maintain day-to-day decision making and protect essential frontline services from disruption as far as practically possible.

We also welcome the fiscal measures announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on Tuesday 17 March 2020: they will provide a degree of reassurance and support to residents and businesses in Basildon as they deal with the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak.

I urge the government to take further swift action to support the most vulnerable, elderly and at-risk residents in Basildon borough and across the country by introducing significantly enhanced Statutory Sick Pay for all, and a Council Tax and council rent holiday of three to six months, which is fully funded by central government. This will directly support families affected by the outbreak, whilst ensuring councils do not lose a vital source of funding to maintain essential public services in the weeks and months ahead.

Urgent reassurance and clarity from government that councils will be reimbursed for significant losses of income in relation to coronavirus, because of closures of key facilities, such as our leisure centres, theatres and cafes would also be welcome. Similarly that Basildon Council will be reimbursed for the significant additional costs incurred in essential activities undertaken to lead and support our communities through these difficult times.

Yours sincerely,

Gavin Callaghan

Labour Councillor for Pitsea North West


Published on Friday 20 March 2020