Coronavirus has hit the council’s coffers to the tune of more than £26 million, it has been revealed.

Latest figures show the council is £26.337 million out of pocket, a total which includes an estimated £23 million shortfall in parking and events which have been halted as a result of social distancing restrictions.

The statistics also show the authority spent more than £12 million on adult social care, while a further £3.89 million was handed out as part of emergency homelessness and rough sleeping provisions.

The mounting cost to help the city recover from the impact of the pandemic is also expected to affect next year’s budget, with a forecasted gap judged to be between £11 million and £29 million.

A council spokesman told The Argus the projected shortfall was “entirely” a result of the impact of coronavirus, combined with insufficient emergency response funding and compensation for losses of income, as well as taxation from central government.

He said: “We are working extremely hard to manage in-year spending, but we have to balance this with needing to maintain essential services, supporting people and businesses through the pandemic, and not undermining the city’s recovery.

“Without the appropriate government funding support, some use of reserves and balances is inevitable.

“We will need to plan to replenish these over future years.

“We are continuing to lobby the government to provide the full funding required to cover the shortfall this year and next.”

The council has suffered the £26 million shortfall, despite having received millions of pounds extra support from the government during the crisis.

It received £18.462 million as part of a Covid-19 emergency response grant from the government in three tranches.

The authority estimates that it will receive almost £12 million in a new government grant for compensation of loss of sales, fees and charges income.

Deputy leader of the council Sue Shanks said dealing with the deficit will be the biggest challenge in combatting the virus.

She said: “We will be losing a lot of money and there is a

big hole in the budget at the movement. The national government has supported us to a certain extent, but a lot of money comes to the council from council tax and things like parking charges and other services.

“A lot of those have been shut down and are not being used.

“Councils are going to be in a really bad way and we are hoping the national government will recognise that.

“But we have had almost a decade of government cuts.

“We’ve already been trying to reduce the budget year on year.”

In addition to the Covid grant issued by the government, the council also received £200,000 in contingency provisions.

Councillor Shanks said the authority wants to invest in tackling the climate emergency, but the scale of the deficit may make it difficult to do so.

She said: “We have things that we need doing.

“As the Green Party, one of our main challenges is the climate emergency and we want to be investing and supporting work against that.

“It is going to be tough.”