Cheshire West and Chester Council are facing a £35.6 million loss due to the coronavirus pandemic, forecasts show.

Past estimates from June had thought the loss would be £29 million, but these have since been revised ahead of the authority’s next cabinet meeting on Wednesday, September 16.

A pre-meeting report seen by the LDRS says ‘the most significant changes are in respect of an increase in estimated cost pressures relating to infection control (£4 million) and test and trace (£1.5 million)’.

Whilst these measures will be entirely funded by ring-fenced grants, CWAC is also feeling the pinch in terms of lost income, with gains from parking, planning applications, commercial units, and markets all seeing significant reductions.

The report also hints that a staff ‘restructuring’ programme could take place to save money, as CWAC is facing a £7.5 million shortfall in central government funding to cover the associated costs.

CWAC’s neighbour, Cheshire East, last week announced that it was facing a £28 million shortfall following a £50 million loss of income owing to the pandemic.

Like CEC, officials for the western half of the county are warning that a second wave of Covid-19 cases could ‘change’ the forecasts.