Chesterfield council counts £7.6m cost of pandemic but praises 'community spirit' and 'resilience' of town
Chesterfield council leaders estimate the coronavirus pandemic has cost the authority £7.6million in lost revenue as they look back on a year ‘like no other’.
Chesterfield Borough Council observed the national minute’s silence today to mark one year since the start of the first national lockdown – and said it had been 12 months filled with ‘heartbreak’.
But thanks to the ‘community spirit’ and ‘resilience’ of the community, council bosses are confident of a ‘brighter future’ for the town.
Coun Tricia Gilby, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “This last year has been like no other, with so much loss and heartbreak.
"Many families have lost loved ones, too soon.
"I and my colleagues took a moment to observe the national minute’s silence to remember those who have lost their lives, and their families remain in our thoughts at this difficult time.”
Although Coun Gilby says the impact of the last year has been felt ‘far and wide’ she remains confident about the future.
“As a community Chesterfield has pulled together and shown tremendous spirit and resilience – helping our most vulnerable at their time of greatest need,” she said.
"We’ve kept essential services running as far as we can, and our staff have gone above and beyond to help people.
"That resilience remains and puts us in a strong position for the future.
"Our economic growth programme has continued at pace – Chesterfield is not standing still, and we have nationally significant regeneration schemes which are generating jobs and opportunity.
“Our local businesses have endured incredible challenges and we have done all we can to support them – our teams worked hard to pay over 3,900 grants totalling around £39m to businesses to date, and as we prepare to re-open our high streets, we’re launching a campaign to encourage people shop locally.
“The pandemic has led to more than £7.6 million in lost revenue for the council. We have been proactive in tackling this – applying for and receiving around £5 million from the Government and reducing costs by £900,000 – but this still left a budget shortfall of £188,000.
“As we share hopes of a brighter future – and a return to a more normal way of living – we will continue to pull together and support the most vulnerable.”