Questions raised over what to do with remaining COVID business cash pot

A councillor has urged the money left in a COVID business grant pot should be given out to businesses via compensation scheme – but a Cabinet member says the cash should go to those eligible.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 3:00 pm

Coun George Robinson (Con, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe) said many councillors would be aware the council had been given a £4.5 million COVID grant to give to businsses.

“It is a discretionary pot the council can determine.

“Today there is still over half of this pot, £2.7 million, still available.

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Councillor George Robinson

“This money needs to go to businesses now, as they recover from the pandemic,” he told members of July’s meeting of the full Calderdale Council in the section of the meeting where councillors can quiz Cabinet members on any issue.

Coun Robinson said businesses had been finding hard to get in touch with the council, despite in some cases numerous emails.

“I have got a solution.

“My belief is a compensation scheme through this pot should now be available to businesses through an application service – will the council be amenable to this suggestion?” said Coun Robinson.

Cabinet member for Regeneratio and Strategy, Coun Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot) said Additional Restrictions Grant was a discretionary scheme.

“If Coun Robinson lets me know about individual problems I will be happy to press these cases and see if some areas of blockage might be found.

“I like his creative thinking – but I would like to see people who are eligible to get this money as quickly as possible,” she said.