THE response to the coronavirus pandemic in the Wee County is bringing significant financial risks for Clackmannanshire Council, elected members will hear tomorrow.

According to documents to be tabled at Clackmannanshire Council's virtual meeting of elected members on Thursday, June 25, the continued response to the pandemic "will likely to have a significant impact on council finances and resources".

Between April and June, the local authority has received more than £1.9million from the Scottish Government to respond to Covid-19.

It is estimated the council has spent just under £1.8m of this for additional costs arising from coronavirus.

Council papers added: "In many councils, Covid-19 expenditure is already significantly greater than the money allocated by Scottish Government.

"Based on the first three months of Covid-19 expenditure in Clackmannanshire, there remains £127k available to fund additional expenditure from July onwards and there are a number of costs which are anticipated, but not yet reflected this level of commitment."

Further costs are anticipated in funding IT equipment to support virtual learning and home working arrangements.

Council papers warn the local authority may need to re-prioritise expenditure within the year.

Work is also ongoing to establish an education delivery model going forward and substantial expenditure is anticipated to run summer childcare hubs and to re-open schools "in a significantly changed context".

Some loss of income is being highlighted as well; primarily relating to school meals, planning income and the closure of leisure and hire facilities – but not to the extent other councils are reporting.

Council papers to be tabled at the virtual meeting added: "At this stage, it is also difficult to forecast the medium to longer term impacts on our communities.

"Given the levels of deprivation and vulnerability in some of our communities, it is likely that many will experience greater individual and collective impacts which may require greater support in the future."

The Scottish Government has also provided nearly £8.5m for specific initiatives such as business grants and hardship funds.

Around £6.5m of these are committed and more is anticipated as further applications are received.

However, these funds are ring-fenced, meaning anything unspent will be returned to the government.

Adding to financial risks is a mobilisation plan for the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership, totalling £12.4m.

Significant work is required to capture and quantify all the additional costs for the partnership, which brings together local authorities and the health board.

Council papers said: "Whilst there is a commitment to fund 'reasonable expenditure', there is a risk that if mobilisation costs are not fully funded, compounded by planned savings not being achieved, there is potentially a significant financial risk to the council."

A funding strategy will be developed at the local authority to mitigate emergent pressures and there may be a need to review the council's budget for the current year.