CHIPPENHAM MP Michelle Donelan has welcomed a £3 million injection of funds for Wiltshire Council to help cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick, with whom Michelle Donelan MP has worked closely, has today confirmed allocations for individual councils from the £1 billion of additional support announced by the Prime Minister earlier this month.

This includes an extra £3 million of un-ringfenced funding directly to Wiltshire Council, which takes the total additional Covid-19 funding for Wiltshire Council to an astounding £34 million.

Michelle Donelan said: “From day one of this pandemic, I have been determined to ensure that Wiltshire gets the investment it needs to come out of this situation stronger and more prosperous in the long term.

“We are a hardy, resilient community who together have faced a number of challenges and have seen them off in the past, but that does not change the fact that we need to know that the Government supports us where needed.

“This emphatic show of concrete support from the Government is real evidence that what I am doing and what Wiltshire Council are doing is working. Wiltshire Council have worked incredibly hard on our behalf and I am proud to advocate on their behalf in Parliament.

“This latest round of additional funding is a real vote of confidence in Wiltshire by the Government and I know that the impact it will have on real people who are struggling in our area will be immense.

“My priority now is to make sure that the money reaches those who need it most and that everyone is able to have a say over where they feel more help is needed. I will therefore be using every opportunity to ask constituents what they want to see from this and how better we can help local people.”

Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said: “I am pleased that the Government continues to provide us with extra funding and this is much needed.”

The funding will be provided to Wiltshire Council to aid their ongoing work to support our local communities during the pandemic and it brings the total funding provided directly to councils during the pandemic so far to £6.4 billion.

This includes £4.6 billion in un-ringfenced funding, £1.1 billion from the Infection Control Fund, £300 million to support Test and Trace as well as funding allocated to councils from the new Local Alert Level system and a number of grants to support communities and vulnerable people - many of which Miss Donelan has also helped to secure for Wiltshire.

Wiltshire Council can also now claim funding through a compensation scheme for lost income from sales, fees and charges due to new Government measures.

Miss Donelan plans to work with Wiltshire Council to help ensure the extra funding is spent effectively and targets specifically local needs, such as infrastructure. This comes as part of her wider campaign to ensure that Wiltshire is not left behind compared to other counties and her advocacy so far has helped Wiltshire to secure tens of millions of funding to help the county through the virus.

The local MP has several surgeries and local online events coming up in the diary, which she will use to collect views and opinions from constituents to feed back to Wiltshire Councils they assess where best to spend the money.