Wandsworth Council has received £10.8 million from the government as part of funding given to councils across the country to help with their response to coronavirus.

The council announced this money will be used to form a COVID-19 Emergency Fund for vulnerable residents, as well as a Hardship Fund for those on low incomes.

It will also support local businesses, including many that rely on council contracts, and help to boost the funds of local charities and voluntary groups.

The government has allocated £8.8 million to the borough as part of an emergency funding package.

This money will be spent on supporting social care across the borough, helping the NHS with swift discharges from hospitals to free up beds for the care of coronavirus patients, and supporting schools to look after vulnerable children and the children of key workers.

Rough sleepers will also be helped off the streets into accommodation, and those who are struggling will receive food vouchers.

The government’s separate Hardship Fund of £1.988 million will be used to help cushion council tax bills for residents facing financial hardship and support families on Universal Credit who are struggling to make ends meet.

Council leader Ravi Govindia said: “We were quick off the mark in establishing a community hub with an emergency phone line and supporting our voluntary sector in their efforts to co-ordinate local volunteers. We acted ahead of the Government and promised to protect against evictions and to stop bailiff activity.

“We have taken steps to reduce the burden of debt on our low-income families at this difficult time by easing the rules on rents and council tax and by pressing other landlords to do the same for tenants in the private rented sector.

“Our residents and businesses can rest assured we are by their side every step of the way and we will not let them down. We will continue to respond quickly and robustly and act with resolve to protect our residents and our local businesses.”