Council issues almost £9m of funding to help with cost of living crisis
- Five separate schemes have helped residents with financial pressures
- Almost 40,000 people helped by energy rebate schemes alone
- Council's own discretionary scheme still open to applications
West Lancashire Borough Council has paid out over £8.7m in funds to help West Lancashire Residents and businesses with rising energy costs and financial support.
Five schemes have been running since April including the government's £150 Energy Rebate scheme, Household Support Fund and Business Rate Scheme and a discretionary energy support fund agreed by Council.
The £150 Energy Rebate Scheme alone has seen almost £6m paid out to 40,000 people with a further 8,500 people supported by an additional discretionary fund.
Additionally, the Household Support Fund saw almost £400K paid to 3,973 residents and three organisations including foodbanks. The bulk of expenditure was used to provide help with energy and food, and we also secured white goods for 31 families.
Plus, over £2m has been issued to businesses as part of a rates relief scheme. Another £260K discretionary fund, approved directly by the Council is still open for applications.
Councillor Adam Yates, portfolio holder for Finance and Regeneration said: "I'm incredibly proud that our Council stepped up to get these payments out as quickly as possible, despite very challenging logistical issues.
"I know these payments will have made a real difference to many people and I'd like to personally thank the officers involved who I know worked tirelessly to push through the payments.
"Lots of households are struggling right now, some of whom did not expect to be, such as those in full-time employment. We have been working hard to support them, and will continue to look for ways to help them as winter pressures bite.
"As a starting point, I would urge anyone who is struggling to negotiate these incredibly difficult times to visit our Cost of Living Hub for further help and advice."
To view and apply for the Council Tax discretionary scheme visit: https://www.westlancs.gov.uk/bills-benefits/council-tax/council-tax-payment-difficulties.aspx
Information about a further discretionary Housing Payment scheme for residents in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, who are struggling to meet their housing costs, can also be viewed here: https://www.westlancs.gov.uk/bills-benefits/benefits/discretionary-housing-payments.aspx