Cheshire East Council has been allocated £2.2m of Government funding to help provide food and essentials for vulnerable households over the coming winter. The household support fund runs from October 6 to March 31, 2022 and already, the council is preparing to distribute the funding as soon as possible.
The aim of the household support fund is to provide support to vulnerable households in most need of support this winter as the economy recovers. The Council will use the £2.2m fund to support vulnerable households with food, utilities and other essentials over the winter months.
The item was discussed as “urgent business” at full Council so the council could formally accept the grant of £2,203,892 and start to ensure it gets to those most in need.
The report to the council stated; “The grant letter asks for local authorities to be ready to deliver support to vulnerable households from October 6, 2021, and asks that we start making immediate preparations to administer the grant.… we want to act quickly to provide immediate support to our most vulnerable residents by using our established processes to roll out the grant for the October half term as an emergency measure.”
Whilst the recent removal of a number of funding initiatives that supported adults and families during Covid, (including the Covid support grant, £20 uplift to Universal Credit and furlough), are likely to have a financial impact on a number of Cheshire East residents, a range of additional support interventions are already in place.
* Household Support Fund
* ‘Plan for Jobs’
* The Energy Price Cap
* Recent rise in Local Housing Allowance
* Recent increase in the National Living Wage.
* Warm Home Discount which provides a £140 rebate on energy bills each winter to over 2.2 million low-income households.
* Cold Weather Payment which provides £25 extra a week for poorer households when the temperature is consistently below zero.
* Holiday Activities and Food programme will continue over the Christmas Holidays
To further support for families with children, the Government has
* doubled free childcare for eligible working parents, worth up to £5,000 per child every year.
* The value of Healthy Start vouchers in April has been increased by over a third, helping disadvantaged women who are pregnant or have children under four.