The Covid-19 pandemic could cost Harrow Council almost £25 million at this stage, according to its latest estimates.

A report presented to the council’s cabinet showed a funding gap of £24.7 million due to lost income and increased spending.

Cllr Adam Swersky, responsible for finance and emergency response at Harrow Council, described the figures as “enormous” and reiterated the idea that it is desperate for more support from central government.

He explained that the Government’s support package of £13.1 million has barely covered additional costs brought on by the outbreak.

And he noted that this additional expenditure had increased by £2.8 million since its last report in April due to a recalculation of the cost of personal protective equipment and extra payments to carers.

Cllr Swersky pointed out any additional funding provided to cover schemes such as ‘track and trace’, while welcomed, does not impact on the hole created by loss of income.

He said the council is frequently in contact with the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government to outline its position and urge it to provide further support.

Last month he urged the Government to provide full financial support to local authorities which, he said, “have been at the front line of this crisis”.

“Whether it’s the social care we provide, the food delivery networks we’ve built with the voluntary sector, or the hardship funds and grants we’ve given out, local councils have played a major role in the response,” he said.

”For the Government to turn its back on us now would mean the return of austerity with a vengeance.

“We need to know our costs and lost income will be covered so we can plan to restart services, help people gain skills and find jobs, and keep our social care teams going strong.”

And Sean Harriss, chief executive of Harrow Council, said it could face emergency measures – including cuts to services – if it does not receive additional financial government support to counter the impact of Covid-19.

“I think it would be difficult for any Government, of any political persuasion, not to provide the funding,” he said.

“If it does come through then I’m not worried, but, if it doesn’t come through, I’m extremely worried.”

So far, the Government has handed out £3.2 billion of emergency funding to councils to help manage the pandemic.