ISLAND MP Bob Seely has welcomed a new £500 million funding pot for councils across the country to cover income lost to the lockdown.

The new government fund is designated as 'ringfenced' — meaning the Isle of Wight Council will have sole decision on how to spend their portion of the fund.

The money is aimed at covering 75p on every pound lost during the coronavirus pandemic.

Bob Seely said: "I welcome this package of support coming from the Government. Our council is already under extreme financial pressure so this support will help them to catch their breath.

“I will be talking to the council about my thoughts on this.

"I would like to see the council not only investing the money in keeping people safe and supported but also looking at ways they can help businesses who are struggling and invest in opportunities that can help to safeguard jobs.

“I want to ensure ministers understand our position here before the next Spending Review, which will determine the level of support councils need moving forward.

“I am working with the Isle of Wight Council to push ministers for more support here. I have another meeting with Simon Clarke next week and I will continue to ensure our voices are heard.”

Local government secretary, Robert Jenrick, said: “Councils are playing a huge part in supporting their communities during this pandemic.

"From supporting the most vulnerable and keeping vital services running to operating local track and trace, council workers have been at the forefront of this great national effort and are the unsung heroes of this pandemic.”