By Tony Earnshaw LDRS

Conservatives in Kirklees have welcomed tens of millions of pounds provided to the area in government grants during the on-going coronavirus pandemic.

And they have said that it is “inevitable” that more money will follow.

Cllr David Hall, leader of the Conservative group on Kirklees Council, said Westminster had paid out billions of pounds to local authorities during the health emergency.

In Kirklees, the council has received around £35m to date as well as more than £100m that has been distributed to businesses in the district via grants and Business Rate reductions.

Cllr Hall, who represents Liversedge and Gomersal, said it was important to acknowledge the “enormous funding” that the government has provided locally, and regionally, during “unprecedented times”.

He added: “Kirklees Council has received over £35m already to help it deal with the crisis and it is inevitable there will be more to come. This is in addition to £100m provided to try to help businesses through this pandemic.

“It is also important to acknowledge the Council’s hard work during this trying period in ensuring this funding gets to where it needs to go and in trying to limit the impact on business in our area, which has suffered from very high infection rates.”

Reacting to the government’s statement at the start of the pandemic that it would do “whatever it takes” to ensure that local authorities have the resources needed to fight the virus, he said he was pleased that it had “honoured its promise”.

He said: “Although the north has suffered the worst of this virus, the government has supported us, and this shows the Prime Minister’s commitment to the levelling-up agenda.

II hope we have now turned the corner with vaccinations being approved and becoming available this month, and that Kirklees and West Yorkshire will come out of Tier 3 as soon as possible.

“The council I know will continue to play a crucial role over the next few months and hopefully by March or April we can get back to some sort of normality.

“We have to accept though that this is not a quick fix and will not happen overnight. The council and the government will need to continue to work together, and the Conservatives locally will play their part along with others.

“Our aim has to be to rebuild our local economy whilst protecting the health of our residents.”