CIVIC chiefs in Southampton are facing a £45m coronavirus bill,  it has been revealed.

Official documents have shown that the pandemic is set to cost Southampton City Council £45m in the 2020/21 financial year.

The government has so far granted the authority more than  £16m and said it has been giving councils "unprecedented support".

But city council documents have revealed that the authority is still facing a £28.8m shortfall.

Plans to address the shortfall have been drawn up.

But the authority said the cost could rise and more support from the government is needed.

Among the plans to address the shortfall there are a potential £10.9m grant which could come from the government and £9.6m from the council's budgets.

According to the document another £1.5m could be saved from  "a combination of measures including more stringent management of staff related expenditure in relation to use of temporary and short term contract staff plus vacancy management".

It is not yet known whether services or jobs would be at risk.

In the report council bosses also said that "much will depend on further Government support without which an additional shortfall is almost unavoidable".

Should there be a second wave further costs will be "probable", the council said, but the impacts beyond the current financial year are still being assessed.

Cllr Stephen Barnes-Andrews, cabinet member for finance and commercialisation , said: "The government asked us to do ‘whatever it takes’ in the fightback against the coronavirus pandemic and we did just that. Whilst the council has had grant support from Government, it doesn’t cover the total costs of the pandemic. We have to find around £14m to cover the shortfall, and estimate there’s another £11m of spending the Government promised to support, but has not yet funded. It seems the Tory Government isn’t keen on honouring its commitments, but they should do the right thing and meet the unprecedented costs we’ve incurred in delivering what they asked for.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, said: "Southampton City Council has received £18.9 million in emergency funding, including both unringfenced funding and the infection control fund. Their core spending power increased by £12.2 millionin 2020/21 even before emergency funding was announced. We will continue to work closely with councils as they support their communities through the pandemic and if any are concerned about their future financial position they should contact MHCLG.”

The city council has been asked whether jobs or services would be at risk but it was unable to provide a comment before the paper went to press.