South west London councils to receive £1.2m for COVID enforcement

The government will give more than £1million to South west London councils to help them enforce social distancing, it announced today.

Councils can use the money to fund “COVID marshals” in order to enforce social distancing in public areas.

Lambeth Council will receive the most of south west London councils, getting £220,216 to fight COVID-19.

Lambeth is followed by Croydon Council, who received £218,178, and Wandsworth Council, who received £165,093.

Overall, South west London’s councils received £1,158,159 in additional funding from the government.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG), led by Robert Jenrick MP, announced the funding as part of measures to help local government fight COVID-19.

The announcement comes a day after PoliticsHome revealed that only 4 of the top 100 councils in the UK had implemented a form of COVID marshals.

The government are under mounting pressure to take preventative action that might stop a second winter wave of the pandemic.

There were 14,162 new cases in the UK yesterday amid a slew of local lockdown measure and growing fears of a second national lockdown.

Despite the funding, not all councils are committing to Covid-19 marshals.

Kingston Council said: “[We are] pleased to receive a ring-fenced financial allocation from central government to spend on COVID-19 related compliance and enforcement activities.

“We are considering whether Covid-19 marshals will form part of our compliance activities, but we have no immediate plans for this.

“We are engaging with local residents, community groups and businesses to encourage social distancing as well as other essential public health measures including regular hand washing and the use of face coverings.”

Featured image credit: Pippa Fowles / 10 Downing Street

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