North Devon Council is calling on the Government to provide more financial support during the coroanvirus crisis so it can continue to provide community services.

The council said its allocation of the Government’s initial £1.6billion support package for councils totalled £52,000 – the equivalent of to around 50p per resident.

The council says it needs around £90 per household in order to properly navigate the first three months of the coronavirus crisis.

A statement from the council said the Government’s announcement of a further £1.6billion for local government came as ‘little comfort’.

It said: “The bleak financial position is due to the fact that the council now relies on income from various sources in order to deliver its services as government funding has reduced over the past 10 years.

“That income is predicted to drop by 20 per cent, which in money terms is between £2 and £3 million over the first three months of the pandemic.

“Council tax itself only accounts for a small fraction of the council’s overall budget.”

Council leader Cllr David Worden said: “The last round of funding saw the lion’s share go to the county councils who are providing frontline care in the community. But we also provide essential frontline support to our communities and need to carry on providing essential services such as bin collections and helping vulnerable customers with housing and financial support.

“If we get a similar share of this latest round of funding, we will be left in a potentially catastrophic financial position so the government really needs to listen to us and understand the severity of the financial position of many district councils.”