I have been making sure the views expressed to me locally are conveyed to Ministers directly. I remember well watching the press conference Rishi Sunak did at the very start of this process when he announced the furlough scheme. I watched it with a local hotel owner who that morning had made most of her team redundant. I could not tell her that I knew what the Chancellor was about to announce but she cried when she found out.
The Prime Minister was clear from the start. As a Government we would stand with the British people to get through this. We would support businesses that were viable before Covid to be there to reopen when the pandemic passed.
Although all this support has been tax-payers money through the Treasury the Government decided that the best way to disperse funding for this support was through the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland and in England through the 339 Councils (Unitary, Upper and Second Tier). In our area this has meant the Westminster Government providing or ensuring:
£61.77 million extra funding to date for BCP during the pandemic, out of a total of an extra £761million for the South West. Over half of this funding has not been ringfenced, meaning local leaders can decide how to use the additional funds and which local services should benefit. This has included specific schemes such as providing emergency support for rough sleepers, preventing children going hungry, setting up local test and trace services and measures to make care homes, high streets and town centres Covid-secure
£750,000 extra support for domestic abuse victims and their children during lockdowns
£1.31m additional funding for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service to help manage the additional burdens of lockdowns
£2.78 million has been allocated to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital and Poole Hospital for tackling badly needed infrastructure projects as the NHS moves on from the impact the pandemic.
£5m for the Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole area to build new supported homes for rough sleepers, following the success of the Government-funded “Everyone In” programme during lockdowns
£1.1m paid to the local restaurant and pub industry through the Eat out to Help out schemeThis is a Boxed Text block. Use a contrasting background to draw attention to this content.
£2.5m to support BH Live (and thus guarantee the future of the Bournemouth International Centre) during enforced closure
Some 8,700 residents of Bournemouth West have received furlough payments under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme