Risk of bankruptcy from Wiltshire Council has been ‘significantly reduced’ due to the government announcement of £500m in funding for local authorities.

Last week (July 2) the government announced further financial support for councils which includes £500m in additional funding.

The announcement made by the Secretary of State Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick said that the fund was to ‘address spending pressures and in recognition of lost income’.

The council said that the emergency cash and would reduce its risk of issuing a section 114 order – which would imposed immediate spending restrictions on the council.

Wiltshire Council has forecast a loss of income from sales, fees and charges of £14.8m.

Critically, the funding will allow Wiltshire Council to compensate for a loss of income from services such as car parking.

This new income loss scheme involves local authorities paying the first 5 per cent of all lost planned sales, fees and charges with the government compensating councils at a rate of 75p for every pound of loss.

Additionally, the announcement also included a proposal whereby councils can spread the financial impact from council tax and business rates across three years.

Cllr Pauline Church, cabinet member for finance and procurement, said: "The additional funding from the government will certainly ease the pressure, but we are still facing significant challenges ahead and more funding will be required.

“Locally, we are leading on the recovery from Covid-19 so we are working hard to ensure we have the right resources in the right areas to help the county get back strongly on its feet.

"We await with interest to see how the government will allocate the additional funding and will continue to work closely with them to try to ensure the county gets what it needs."

The full details on the cash allocated to individual councils, as well as the details on how the income loss scheme and other proposals will work have yet to announced.

Wiltshire Council has also introduced a host of measures design to help them to recover from the impact of coronavirus, including moving to a single chief executive officer in Terence Herbert.

Council leader, Cllr Philip Whitehead also made reductions to both the cabinet and portfolio holder, where the number of cabinet member was reduced from nine to eight, and the number of portfolio holder cut from 14 to 10.

He said: "These changes also represent a 15 per cent saving in the costs of running the administration, which is prudent given the financial challenges we face because of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

To date Wiltshire Council has received £25.5m of Covid-19 funding from the government.

This latest round of funding brings the total level of emergency funding support nationally to £3.7bn.