The Use, Or Not, Of Council (Public) Useable Reserves, Part 1

From WLR “Dear Chief Operating Officer, It’s been reported from Radio Lancashire that the WLBC Leader Cllr Moran stated, below,

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“Reluctantly I have been forced to put West Lancashire into Tier 3 for a
four-week period. Government have repeatedly failed to manage this
crisis and failed the people of West Lancashire. Talks have been ongoing
for days to secure a financial support package to be able to support our
vulnerable and shielding residents and the impact on local businesses,
job losses and loss of income for workers.


“As a county, Government offered just £12m in support, while Lancashire
Leaders argued that £50m was much closer to what was needed. The
Government have now offered £30m, but tell us that if we don’t move to
Tier 3 now they will impose on us anyway and provide less financial
support.


“The Government threatened West Lancashire with much stricter closures
if we don’t sign up, including the closure of our leisure centres and
gyms and possibly hairdressers and beauty salons. I believe if they
imposed these measures many would close and never return.


“We have been placed in an impossible situation of deciding between the
numbers of lives affected and lost in either scenario. Our COVID numbers
are rising day by day and we must do something to address this, but we
must protect our local economy, the long term mental health of our
workforce and residents along with the risks of poverty that could come
through job losses.


“The money we have secured we argue must be provided immediately to
enable the council to support our most vulnerable residents, and the
businesses and workers directly impacted upon”.


“You [COO] will be aware of WLBC declaring, in its published accounts, over
£25million in useable reserves. In what circumstances will WLBC make use of these reserves of public money to help the businesses and the local economy that Cllr Moran mentioned?
Or will the local economy stagnate and the poverty appear while the WLBC remains cash rich?

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