Ealing Council is on the frontline of tackling COVID-19 locally and the financial impact of its work since March totals £71million. Despite the government promising to meet all its COVID-19 costs, it is still owed £14.8million and balancing the budget will be a challenge.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the council’s Future Ealing plan was working. Future Ealing is about balancing the budget and investing in services that really matter to residents, despite a decade of cuts to the borough’s government grant.
Unfortunately, the impact of COVID-19, on top of a two-thirds cut to Ealing’s grant is now translating into major budget pressures for this year and next. In fact, next year’s budget gap totals £28million and is one of the biggest Ealing has ever had to face.
At the same time, COVID-19 has hit west London hard, because so many residents either work at Heathrow, or work for businesses that supply Heathrow. The council is fighting for our borough’s economy and is working with other west London boroughs on a build and recovery strategy, but it will take time.
This short video explains the numbers behind the budget and how the COVID-19 costs have affected it. There are some tough decisions to come, but the council has promised it will do everything it can to protect local services.