A plan to help Cornwall Council recover from the financial impacts of Covid-19 has been agreed at the authority’s cabinet meeting.

Cornwall Council logo

The plan asks council departments to deliver an underspend over the next financial year, as well as transferring some funds from other budgets so that it can continue to deliver vital services and move towards achieving a balanced 2020/21 budget while building the council’s financial resilience for the future.

Deputy leader, Adam Paynter, said: “It is vital that we plan now to deliver a sustainable budget for the year ahead. The council’s income has suffered as a result of the extra expenditure needed due to Covid-19, as well as a loss of income.

“This plan asks services to deliver an underspend, but to continue to deliver vital services to Cornwall residents, which will be a challenge. The current estimate of the total impact of Covid-19 on the council is forecast to be around £74m, although that will fall across different financial years. We will continue to argue the case for more funding from central government to local government.”

Cabinet also approved plans to publicly consult on the Climate Emergency Development Plan, the aim of which is to create planning policies and allocations that help achieve the council’s goal of becoming carbon neutral. Consultation aims to start next month.

There were new developments in place-shaping and the regeneration of towns in Cornwall, after it was agreed that Cornwall Council would provide a strategic framework to encourage economic growth and change in town centres. As part of the plans, towns will be able to bid for money from the Town Centre Revitalisation Fund.

Finally, recommendations were approved for the strategic partner Mears UK Ltd to deliver 750 units of extra care housing in Cornwall. Extra care homes will provide people in Cornwall with an alternative to residential care, where people can live independently in their own self-contained home, but with care and support available if they need it.