CHESTER MP Chris Matheson has joined Cheshire West and Chester Council leader Louise Gittins in calling on the Government for more emergency funding.

Councils across England have been offered additional funding as they respond to the coronavirus pandemic, with CWaC allocated £9.4m emergency funding.

But Cllr Louise Gittins explained that collective costs were actually around three times higher.

Council leaders from across the country have expressed deep concerns that this money is simply not enough.

Both Mr Matheson and Cllr Gittins have written letters to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for additional funding to help the area get through the crisis, as well as wishing him well as the PM continues to recover from the virus.

Mr Matheson said: "The recent announcement of support for councils is welcome. But as we come to realise the sheer scale of this international crisis, it is crucial that this funding is readjusted to reflect the reality of the situation."

In a letter supporting the leader of the council, Cllr Louise Gittins, Mr Matheson said: “Whilst the Government have relied on councils to carry out vital services during this crisis, councils are struggling to make ends meet.

“Cheshire West and Chester (CWaC) has been a central pillar of support for the community during this time, providing front-line emergency care, food and advice to people across the area.

“Our council has gone above and beyond to support those in need, providing the vital PPE required by care workers and other public servants, and supporting shielded and non-shielded residents dealing with the hardship of isolation.

"This is all in the face of an unprecedented rise in demand for their services and a reduction in income.

“Councils are expected to keep vital community services running whilst haemorrhaging huge sums of lost revenue through a reduction in council tax and businesses rates as well as parking fees.

“Councils across the country have spent millions extra on providing social care, as well as housing rough sleepers throughout the lockdown.

“Cheshire West and Chester Council have offered all homeless people in our area accommodation and support. Alongside partners in housing, health and in the community and charity sector, the council has found accommodation for homeless people and rough sleepers, to give people sleeping rough the ability to stay indoors, avoid others and survive this pandemic.”

“I am calling for a cast-iron guarantee that the Government will look properly at the state of Local Authority finances, and provide the urgent Government funding so desperately needed”.

“Funding to Local Government has been stripped to the bone over the last decade, and it is time the Government recognised the damage they have done.

"Councils have been at the forefront of the local and national effort to stop the spread of this pandemic. But the money provided to councils is simply not enough.”