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Local councils will receive £30m for Covid-19 marshals & measures

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Local councils in England will receive thirty million pounds sterling to fund Covid-19 measures including ‘Covid marshals’, to ensure the public and businesses follow the coronavirus rules set out by the government and local authorities.

A further £30m in government funding will be split between police forces in England and Wales to aid enforcement.

Marshals will not have powers to enforce the law but will advise people on how to follow the rules, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said.

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Nesil Caliskan, from the Local Government Association (LGA), welcomed the funding, but said in many areas regulatory services are already “at tipping point”.

He said with councils leading local work to tackle Covid-19 the government needed to ensure they had the funding to maintain “vital trading standards and environmental health services over the next six months and beyond”.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the government had been clear with infections rising “we will not allow a small minority of people to reverse our hard-won progress” and said the funding would strengthen the police’s role in enforcing the law.

However, Labour’s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds claimed the funding was not enough for forces and councils already under pressure even before the pandemic.

“They have come under huge strain, not least as they went into this crisis weakened by a decade of cuts that saw officer numbers fall and council funding slashed,” he said.

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