CRAVEN District Council’s lead member for financial resilience has warned the authority might have to dip into its reserves if the area is forced into another lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Presenting the revenue budget position of the council, based on the first quarter review of income and expenditure to the end of June, Cllr Patrick Mulligan said major income streams, such as car parking and leisure had been severely affected by the coronavirus.

Although Craven Leisure has now reopened, income at the centre is expected to be down around £710,000 for the year, excluding any support from central government. In addition, car parking income is currently forecast to be down by about £765,000.

Speaking at last week’s remotely held Policy Committee meeting, Cllr Mulligan said the council had been very prudent in its spending, and it did have reserves, but with spikes happening all around, it was vitally important that a local lockdown was not imposed in Craven.

“There are some worrying things that are happening. Luckily, we have some reserves, we have been very prudent in our spending; but two weeks ago we had five (Covid) cases per 100,000 in North Yorkshire, and today we have got 30 cases per 100,000, and that is worrying. We have seen spikes in Leeds, Bradford and Blackburn, we have really got to get the message across. If we go back into another lockdown, it is going to be very difficult.”