The Government has failed to give reassurances on covering councils’ Covid-19 costs in response to a stark warning from Lewisham’s mayor.

The crisis has already cost Lewisham Council nearly £50 million – £22.9million in direct costs and £26.8million in lost income.

So far, the council has received £18 million from the Government, leaving a funding gap of nearly £32 million.

The Government initially promised to cover councils’ costs for tackling the pandemic, but has recently appeared to backtrack.

Lewisham Mayor Damien Egan said frontline workers may face cuts in the near future if the Government does not stand by its promises.

He gave the warning at a meeting of London Labour Party members, where he urged the Government to keep their word that it would do “whatever it takes” to support local authorities throughout the crisis.

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He said that councils will not be able to meet the needs of local communities in the coming years unless they are given the funding to do it.

In response, a spokesman for the Treasury did not give any guarantees about covering all costs incurred.

But he said: “The Government has announced unprecedented support for public services, workers and businesses to protect against the current economic emergency.

“This includes £3.2 billion of additional funding for local authorities as they continue to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This funding will support local authorities to respond to pressures across all their services as a result of Covid-19, and ensure that vital services such as adult and children’s social care services continue to be provided.”

Mayor Egan said: “When the government said they would do ‘whatever it takes’ to support local authorities through the coronavirus crisis, we thought they meant it.

“But Lewisham Council now has a £32 million funding gap that needs to be filled so we can continue supporting our most vulnerable residents and keep services running.

“I am very worried that the very frontline workers currently responding to coronavirus in Lewisham now may face cuts in the near future if the government do not stick to their word and give Lewisham Council the missing £32 million we need to respond to this crisis.”