Labour Propose Covid Relief Fund for Hertford, Backed by Opposition, but Tories Vote Against
Updated: Jan 19
At Monday 18th January’s Hertford Town Council meeting, Labour Councillors Rob Pinkham and Mary Brady proposed a Covid Relief Fund for the town, with the backing of Liberal Democrat and Green Party councillors.
Labour’s motion proposed that Hertford Town Council set up a local recovery fund to provide grants to local voluntary organisations and businesses to help replace lost income and fund increased demand for services.
However, Conservative Councillors, who hold a majority on Hertford Town Council, refused to support this measure for the town and chose to vote against the motion.
“I’m disappointed that the Tories failed to support this scheme, which would have provided real support for those who need it in our town,” Labour Councillor Rob Pinkham said. “Local businesses and voluntary organisations have kept our town moving throughout the pandemic. We must do everything possible to ensure they are supported through lockdown and as we rebuild after the pandemic. That means plugging holes in existing schemes and setting up support that is laser focussed on our town.”
The motion proposed that the Town Council would make an initial contribution of £500,000 to the Covid Relief Fund from money held in reserves and would then take action to seek additional funding from any sources available.
“It’s a shame the council weren’t able to make a commitment to a Covid Relief Fund at this time.” Hertford Town Councillor Andrew Porrer, Chair of Hertford & Stortford Liberal Democrats, said. “As we rebuild and recover locally through the final stages of this pandemic, we need to be able to use our local knowledge to fill in the inevitable gaps in wider schemes from other levels of government. I hope the town council will agree to institute this fund at a later date.”
Hertford Town Councillor Alexandra Daar, Chair of East Herts Green Party, said. “We feel it is really important to raise this issue of how the Town Council supports businesses going forward now. It is vital that the Council reflects on how to communicate effectively with local people at this time of crisis.”
Labour has committed to continue to pursue a Covid Relief Fund for Hertford and explore other avenues to ensure there is adequate provision of support for local businesses and voluntary organisations. They are keen to hear from anyone with views on this via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.