BLAENAU Gwent council is predicting losses of around £1.7 million in the first three months of the coronavirus pandemic.

A full council report says the council is facing a £4 million cost pressure due to the coronavirus crisis, however some of this will be reimbursed through the Welsh Government’s Hardship Fund.

The cost pressures and loss of income following the coronavirus pandemic lockdown have put pressures on all local authorities across Wales.


Blaenau Gwent council says that the loss of income predominately comes from external sources.

The report says: “The most significant loss of external income is within the catering service and school meal income which generates around £90,000 per month (term time).”

The largest cost pressure identified in the report is the adult care sector, which is estimated to be £1.4 million.

This has affected both internal services and external services. Residential, home and nursing care and supported living have led to pressures of £1.4 million, while staff overtime has cost the council an additional £30,000.

However, these costs can be reclaimed from the Hardship fund.

The Hardship fund will also cover the extra £400,000 of providing free school meals through a direct payment to families.

Another cost pressures contributing to the £1.7 million is the council tax reduction scheme, which has a pressure of £162,000.

This has come from an increase in applications for council tax support, the council report says.

Live claims between March and May increased by 3.1 per cent, with 375 claims outstanding, which is a seven per cent increase.

The report says that this is reflective across Wales, however it is expected to fall from July 2020.

It says: “At this stage, these costs cannot be reclaimed from the Hardship fund. This significant area of cost pressure has been identified as an issue with Welsh Government.”

The full council will consider the report at a meeting on Thursday (July 23).