THE county council has warned of a coronavirus-shaped hole of at least £12m in its budget, despite receiving significant support from the Government.

However, the figure could be significantly higher if recovery from the Covid-19 crisis takes longer than current forecasts suggest or if there is a further spike in infections.

But the authority has said it was not intending to pass an emergency budget as it ‘remains hopeful of additional financial support from Government in recognition of the considerable financial pressures Covid-19 has placed on all local authorities’.

Despite receiving an additional £19.1m from the Government, the council will maintain existing budget monitoring and control measures to minimise overspends wherever possible and can call upon non-recurrent reserves ‘as a means of last resort’.

It comes as a new report warns of the financial impact of coronavirus on local authorities.

Commissioned by the County Councils Network, it showed that 39 local authorities, including Northumberland, could use up their available reserves by the 2021-22 financial year to cover a funding shortfall of £2.5bn.

Coun. Nick Oliver, cabinet member for corporate services at Northumberland County Council, said the coronavirus pandemic has required a wide-ranging crisis response from the council.

“There is no doubt this crisis is challenging for all local authorities, but we remain positive that with the support of government, we can continue to protect frontline services and the Northumberland economy will emerge strongly.”