THE Covid-19 lockdown has left Southend Council facing a £20million financial black hole, it has been revealed.

Councillors will be told next week the council is losing about £3million per month as a result of reduced income from parking and fines, combined with the high demand for social care.

Last month, the council’s deputy leader, Ron Woodley, revealed parking revenue, which would usually bring in around £500,000 a month, had been cut to “nil”.

The council has received one-off grants from the Government but a “key concern” is an extra £9.5million needed to properly fund core services to the end of the year.

When the council was asked whether this could mean cuts to services, a spokesman said it would be “too early to speculate on cuts”.

Documents reveal the total cost of Covid-19 to the council will be between £15million and £20million.

It is unclear how much additional support the authority will get, after Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, told a press briefing that support received by councils was “sufficient”.

A report from finance officials to the council’s Labour, Lib Dem and Independent-led cabinet, which meets next week, says: “The pandemic will clearly continue to have major financial implications over the coming weeks and months.

“We will continue to lobby Central Government with our other Essex authorities for extra resources to both help with our response but also the transition, preparation, and implementation of our restoration.

“We are recording all costs and measuring the impact on all income budgets to provide evidence.

“At some stage this will help to form a fair financial compensation request to the Government.”