Exeter city is setting up a hardship fund aimed at helping its residents to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. This is one of the measures the city is trying to pass to make sure the pandemic has minimal effect on its boundaries.
Councilor Phil Bialyk reported that the city’s council is trying its best to help the residents but at the same time carry on with the council’s other responsibilities.
However, the councillor admitted that it would be impossible to give support to all COVID-19 affected persons in the city and this will consequently lead to budgetary pressure.
According to councillor Bialyk, Exeter lost about 300,000 pounds in March and 1.5 million pounds in April as a result of commercial rents, lost incomes, and business rates. This is money the city cannot get back and the councillor says the city was already on a tight budget for this financial year. Going forward Bialyk expects the financial burden to increase.
The government had given the city roughly 23,000 pounds to support the homeless population in the city. However, the council also spent an additional 193,000 pounds to accommodate rough sleepers in Exeter. The city also spent an additional 238,000 pounds over and above the government’s provisions in march and April.
The hardship fund is an additional fund to the already existing Exeter community wellbeing service and the Exeter COVID-19 community action funds. The funds will help in supporting the Exeter community left in financial turmoil and those that are experiencing a money shortage.
Councilor Bialyk also added that the council is hoping that the post-COVID-19 strategy will consist of more initiatives by the end of the lockdown.
The council will review all the policies of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the functions and ability of the council after they resume sessions.