Wiltshire Council is on the brink of running out of money after revealing a £51m funding black hole.

The leader of Wiltshire Council, Cllr Philip Whitehead was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 this morning and said that the government needs to make available more funds to local authorities or they could face bankruptcy.

Cllr Whitehead said: “We’re just concentrating on getting through this year

“I’ve got some sympathy with the government because everyone is still calculating things in their own way and I think at some point we need to pull that together as organisation teams in terms of making sure we’re all on an absolutely clear and level playing field.

“So far, the government has given tranches of money, we just need more of them.

“We need more tranches of money to keep us going.”

The government has already issued £25.5m in tranches to Wiltshire Council, as well as £3.2m in hardship funding to provide council tax relief for vulnerable residents.

If Wiltshire Council cannot balance its book by the end of the next financial year, or if officers know that this cannot be done the council’s section 151 officer will need to issue a section 114 notice.

This notice is effectively a declaration that the council has run out of money and that spending controls must be put in place to balance the budget.

Before the outbreak of coronavirus, the council was already tasked with filling a financial blackhole of £24.5m.

Facilities, such as council-owned leisure centres, which would normally produce income for authorities, are also closed due to Covid-19.

Additionally, this is the first month where the council will resume collecting council tax and business rates from residents and businesses who chose to defer payments for April and May.

According to the Local Government Association (LGA) councils will need another £6bn to cover the financial impact of coronavirus has had on budgets.

“So far there’s been £3.2bn given by government so the sums are fairly easy,” Cllr Whitehead added.