A cross-party plea has gone out to the Government calling for Enfield to get a fairer share of funding for a scheme designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Labour council leader Cllr Nesil Caliskan and Conservative opposition leader Cllr Joanne Laban have co-signed a letter urging Health Secretary Matt Hancock to provide a “more equitable” share of funding for Enfield’s Covid-19 test and trace programme.

It states that despite having up to twice as many cases of coronavirus, Enfield has been given just two-thirds of the money awarded to inner London boroughs.

Test and trace is the next phase of the Government’s efforts to tackle Covid-19. It involves using technology to alert people if they have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus, allowing them to self-isolate quickly.

As part of the scheme, local authorities have been tasked with drawing up plans to identify and contain potential outbreaks of the virus in areas such as schools and care homes.

On June 11, the Government announced it was giving councils £300 million to help create these outbreak control plans, which it distributed using the same formula as the public health grant.

The Government said the test and trace funding had been “allocated to councils based on need, with additional funding provided for communities with lower incomes and higher demand for local healthcare settings”.

But the letter from Cllrs Caliskan and Laban, dated June 23, says Enfield’s share – £1.58 million – works out at £4.58 per person, compared to a £12.39-per-head grant awarded to Kensington and Chelsea.

It adds that this “builds upon our already unfair share of the public health grant, which is based on a traditional funding formula”.

The letter continues: “This consistent level of underfunding for Enfield has a clear negative impact on health inequalities, particularly amongst our most deprived communities. We would therefore suggest that the allocation should have been based on population size, demographics, deprivation and susceptibility.

“We would be therefore grateful if someone in your department could contact us as soon as possible to discuss what could be done to make Enfield’s allocation more equitable and needs-based so that we can provide the support our residents need at this most difficult time.”

The Department of Health and Social Care has been approached for comment.

When the test and trace funding was announced, minister for patient safety, suicide prevention and mental health Nadine Dorries said: “Local authorities play a vital role in the effort to contain Covid-19 in their communities. The funding awarded today will help each local area work hand in hand with Public Health England and contact tracers to focus on the containment of local outbreaks, to control the transmission of this virus.

“The public response to the rollout of NHS Test and Trace has been fantastic, and we continue to rely on everyone to play their part and follow the latest guidelines. If you have symptoms of the virus, please book a test immediately and if you are contacted by the tracing service, it is vital that you follow their advice.”