The effects of the coronavirus pandemic go far and wide and will undoubtedly last a while.

But one of the less obvious effects has been the dramatic financial implications for our councils. And let’s face it, they weren’t in the healthiest of positions before Covid-19 struck.

Take Cheshire East, for example, and it’s not looking good.

The latest estimations of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Cheshire East council have been revealed.

Local Democracy Reporter Ethan Davies reported in the Guardian that the council’s cabinet had been warned by its officers that they estimated the authority would lose roughly £50 million of income due to the coronavirus pandemic.

They will get some money back from the government’s emergency funding of £22 million but that means Cheshire Ease is still facing a £28 million shortfall for this year.

Deputy leader Craig Browne also revealed that the most significant CEC spend had been on the care sector, with forecasts estimating £4 million of support will be delivered to providers.

A further £2 million is predicted to be needed to supply public sector staff with personal protective equipment – with a similar figure required for agency staff.

He also mentions one of the ‘unseen’ costs, the loss of parking revenue which should have contributed £3 million to the council’s coffers.

And things aren’t looking any better over in Cheshire West and Chester with the council facing a £35.6 million because of the pandemic coronavirus pandemic.

The Guardian reports that previous estimates from June had thought the loss would be £29 million but these have since been revised.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service says the most significant changes are in respect of an increase in estimated cost pressures relating to infection control (£4 million) and test and trace (£1.5 million).

It seems these measures will be entirely funded by ring-fenced grants, but like Cheshire East, CWAC is also ‘feeling the pinch’ in terms of lost income, with gains from cash from, planning applications, commercial units, and markets all seeing significant reductions.

And it looks like there could be dark days ahead as a report to the council’s cabinet alludes to a staff ‘restructuring’ programme that could take place to save money, as CWAC is facing a £7.5 million shortfall in central government funding to cover the associated costs.

But the really disturbing thing is that there could be worse to come as council leaders fear that a second wave of the virus could put the authority in an even worse position.

Cheshire East’s Labour council leader Sam Corcoran said: “Although the infection rate in Cheshire East is low, it is rising — and if we are to avoid a second wave, then now is a critical time.”

And Cllr Amanda Stott, Cheshire East Council cabinet member with responsibility for finance, said: “All councils are feeling the additional financial pressure of responding to the Covid-19 pandemic – and Cheshire East is no exception.

“The council now faces additional cost pressures of £70 million due to Covid-19 this year alone. We welcome the additional funding from government provided to date – but it’s estimated we need more than three times this amount to meet the full costs to the authority.”

And what happens if that extra government money isn’t forthcoming? Who will suffer as services are cut as councils try to balance their budgets? Sadly, it will be you and I.

On another topic, I notice that Cheshire East has vowed to stamp out the scourge of people parking their cars on pavements.

Regular readers of this column will know this is one of my pet hates but Cllr Suzie Akers Smith, Cheshire East’s ‘cycling and walking champion’ said the council is ‘committed to banning pavement parking’.

She said: “People parking on pavements affects everybody but especially the most vulnerable people in society, those using mobility scooters, blind or partially sighted, children and the elderly, parents with pushchairs. They should be our priority and a ban on pavement parking demonstrates this.”

Hear, hear. I wish you every success.

Of course, no matter how committed Cllr Akers Smith is to the cause, it may come to nothing (or be watered down) because of the ongoing government consultation on the issue which may or may not change the law on pavement parking.