Lambeth Council is expecting to spend £59 million as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Government has already given the council £20 million, leaving a black hole of £39 million if no more funding is received.
In an overview and scrutiny committee meeting yesterday members grilled the council leader and cabinet members over a host of issues, including how children in care were being looked after, foster care placements, free school meal vouchers, schools reopening, and children not having access to the internet or laptops.
Members also raised concerns about shielded residents, care homes data, the protection of council staff, and housing issues emerging and expected as a result of the pandemic.
Councillor Marianna Masters said she was “very concerned” about the council’s finances in the wake of the crisis.
“I’m still very, very concerned about the fact that, for whatever reason, the Government [gave] an early indication that we would need to spend whatever we would need to spend, and now there seems to be a reigning back on that."
Andrew Travers, the council’s chief executive, said the government must step in with additional funding: “We know that we have a very serious issue if the Secretary of State and the Government do not meet their commitments and leave us with the additional costs that we’re incurring."
The Treasury is currently not commenting on speculation about future costs.