Councillors will meet next week to discuss massive funding gaps in the community caused by the pandemic.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Communities Committee is responsible for areas such as adult social work service, housing, leisure and sport.
Papers to go before councillors on Tuesday reveal the financial impact of Covid-19 for the crucially important Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership (AHSCP) “could be in the region of £12.9 million”.
Documents, prepared by corporate finance manager Susan Donald, provide an overview of the financial impact of the pandemic, which “will be felt for a considerable period of time”.
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As time progresses, plans will be formed on how to adapt to the funding gaps and their impact on the community; whether it be on providing housing, operating leisure centres or managing care homes.
Her report reads: “From January to April 2020 the services for which Communities Committee is responsible generated income of just over £5.9 million which is a decrease of over £2.9 million on the same period in 2019.
“This is due to changes in usage as people started to become concerned about coronavirus, the closure of facilities, suspension of services and cancellation of events.
“The latest return indicates that the loss of income for the council for the period March to June 2020 will potentially be in the region of £7.5 million of which almost £6 million are recurring costs.”
The costs of additional coronavirus expenditure – such as new support for the homeless and other staffing costs – indicate an increase in council costs of £3.2 million for the same period.
However, £2.2 million has been saved between March and June due to the lack of heating and lighting bills in closed buildings, for example.
Meanwhile the AHSCP, which provides health and social care in the region through both the council and NHS Grampian, is predicted to take a large hit.
Ms Donald’s report adds: “The financial impact of Covid-19 for AHSCP is being assessed as part of the return submitted by NHS Grampian and is based on an estimate of the impact for the whole of 2020/21.
“The latest estimates suggest this could be in the region of £12.9 million.”
Councillors will meet on June 4, over Skype, to discuss the report. A recording will be made available after the meeting.