North Yorkshire County Council claimed £3.9m from furlough scheme

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A county council claimed £3.9m from the government to furlough staff during the coronavirus pandemic, it has revealed.

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North Yorkshire County Council said 1,288 jobs were supported by the scheme, which ended last week.

Government guidance states public sector organisations were not expected to furlough their workforce.

They could furlough staff working for commercial companies created by the county council, such as those in waste management or school catering staff.

The council said furlough payments from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme were claimed for those workers in organisations which could not operate due to Covid restrictions.

These are organisations which rely on income and not public money - known as traded services - the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) said.

A county council spokesperson said: "The furloughed posts would normally be funded by income to these companies, but this stopped, or was greatly reduced during the pandemic.