Throughout the lockdown we have worked with partners locally and across Essex to support the vulnerable members of our community who were shielding by helping deliver food and other essentials.
We set up a Community Response Team, linking with Community 360 to give dedicated support and advice to those who needed it, as well as working with the voluntary sector, police, health, education, the business community and many others through the One Colchester Partnership.
A Community Response Pack, containing useful information and contact details for community groups, voluntary organisations and residents, was developed and using our networks, we also ensured businesses were swiftly informed about any changes of legislation or support funding available – making sure this money was forwarded to eligible businesses as soon as possible.
This is just some of the vast amount of work we have undertaken.
However, as a result of the lockdown measures, many of the ways we generate income – including leisure, car parks, events, and museums – were halted.
Despite the Government’s promise we are now facing a gap in our budget.
Initially, we were facing having £10 million less to invest in essential services this year. However, we have received some support from government meaning we now have a funding gap of around £2 million this year – that’s 10% of the net budget. We anticipate a £3.5m gap for next year, which is 17% of the net budget.