North Ayrshire Council is adopting a finance recovery plan which aims to protect jobs and services as it faces a significant gap in its funding following the Covid-19 pandemic to the tune of £16m.

The net financial impact of the pandemic lockdown on the Council is currently expected to be approximately £15.475m for the financial year 2020/21.

The pandemic has had a major impact on public services across the UK and further afield and the Council has been monitoring its financial position to help mitigate the impact while continuing to provide essential services.

A report due to go before Cabinet as we go to press will lay out the projected financial impact of Covid-19 as well as the measures taken so far to minimise the impact.

North Ayrshire Council Leader Joe Cullinane said: “Covid-19 has had a major financial impact across the world and councils aren’t immune to that.

“I am proud of the Council’s response to the pandemic, whether that be the support we have given families and vulnerable residents to access food, the key worker childcare provision, the continuation of our household waste collection throughout lockdown and indeed to all those carers who have cared for, and kept safe, residents. I will be forever indebted to every member of staff who has helped support citizens through Covid-19.

Joe, who is also Cabinet Member for Community Wealth Building, said: “The financial reality is that there is a cost attached to that support and the lockdown caused a significant drop in our income. Despite receiving some additional funding, we are still facing a major funding gap.

“So, we will continue to lobby the UK and Scottish Government to deliver the financial support which local government so badly needs.”

The figures include the loss of £9.6m from the General Revenue Account – which pays for day-to-day council services. This includes lost income to the council and the costs of services such as food provision and support to families of children eligible for free school meals; workforce, building and PPE costs; additional costs for education and early years and mitigating the financial impact on KA Leisure.