THE loss of income and funding for town and community councils as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has been raised by the Member of the Welsh Parliament for Montgomeryshire.

Questioning the Welsh Government's Minister for Local Government, Julie James MS, in the virtual session of the Welsh Parliament this week, Russell George MS raised concerns which have been expressed by town and community councils across north Powys that they will be under extreme pressure to maintain local services unless they receive support from central government.

Mr George said: "Like all organisations, town and community councils are not immune to the negative financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

"As well as being funded from Welsh Government, town councils such as Welshpool and others generate income by running services such as the Day Care Centre, Tourist Information Centre, the market and letting out community buildings.

"This source of funding has been lost and, as a result, they will be under financial pressure which could amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

"Given that some town and community councils don't keep massive reserves, I thought that it was important to raise this situation in the Senedd with the Minister.

"I'm pleased that the Minister confirmed that those facing the most financial hardship will be eligible to draw on the Covid-19 local government hardship fund.

"Town and community councils should discuss their positions with Powys County Council in the first instance. They can also approach the Welsh Government to present a case which lists the lost income and what mitigating arrangements they've put in place, so that they can submit a claim and be considered for the hardship fund."