A NEW tranche of Government Covid recovery cash allocated to Somerset local authorities needs to be spent carefully and effectively, MP Ian Liddell-Grainger has warned.
Ministers have allocated a total of more than £200 million to Somerset county council, and Sedgemoor and Somerset West and Taunton district councils.
The money is intended to help businesses and communities survive the current lockdown and to fund local recovery programmes once restrictions are eased.
But Mr Liddell-Grainger, Conservative MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, warned the authorities that with so many demands being made for support funding they needed to ensure the money was wisely spent.
“These are very generous settlements and we should be immensely grateful to Government for recognising the scale of the problem we face in helping businesses survive and getting communities back on their feet as we emerge from the pandemic,” he said
“But that money absolutely must be spent where it is going to do the most good and deliver the maximum benefit.”
Mr Liddell-Grainger also called on businesses at the smaller end of the scale which were in difficulties to apply for assistance to their local authority.
“I am particularly conscious of traders who may not have expensive premises to maintain but who nevertheless have fixed business costs which they have not been able to service,” he said.
“There have been some reports of such traders falling through the net previously. I hope that situation can now be remedied and if such operators still encounter difficulty receiving the appropriate support I would invite them simply to contact me and I will do whatever I can to assist them.”