Coronavirus - Key Cities call for further financial measures

Key Cities has urged the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make further measures to protect medium sized cities from the most serious consequences of coronavirus.

Councillor John Merry CBE, Chair of Key Cities and Deputy City Mayor of Salford sent an open letter to urging the government to address the significant economic issues across the country.

Key Cities members have a combined turnover of £63billion each year and the manufacturing value of Key Cities members in the north is £9.2billion per annum. 

Councillor John Merry said: “We need to recognise the need for shorter term solutions to be put in place to combat the spread of the virus. Financial support for non-contacted workers and entrepreneurs across out cities is welcomed but this needs to be brought forward. The short term impact of such a loss on our national economy would be unprecedented.

“We welcome the £500 million Hardship Fund which was announced earlier this week, but we must reiterate that cash flow issues have already become an issue for many of our members, and urgent funding is necessary to help them support their communities at this time.

“We are receiving many accounts of banks not being responsive to the needs of people and it is wrong to delay any further support. This position needs to be reconsidered by government.

“Key Cities also wants urgent additional funding so local to maintain accessibility for key workers and local people who need to access essential services. We believe that the funding route, whether via local government or direct to operators, at this urgent time is far less important than the speed in which it is made available.”

The letter was countersigned by Councillor Alan Jarrett from Medway Council, Councillor Michael Mordey from Sunderland City Council and Councillor Vikki Slade from BCP Council.

Key Cities are a group of mid-size cities and urban areas across the UK. The members represent all of the major political parties and places across England and Wales and are a united voice for urban Britain.

The full letter can be viewed here