Coun­cil sets aside £500k in bud­get to help the worst-off

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SEFTON Coun­cil is con­tin­u­ing to sup­port some of the bor­ough’s most vul­ner­a­ble res­i­dents by ear­mark­ing more than £500,000 to help them.

De­spite a con­tin­ued re­duc­tion in sup­port from the Govern­ment, the coun­cil has com­mit­ted £500,000 to its wel­fare sup­port scheme.

The scheme was es­tab­lished to pro­vide sup­port for vul­ner­a­ble, low­in­come fam­i­lies hit by un­ex­pected fi­nan­cial crises, do­mes­tic emer­gen­cies and the im­pact of wel­fare re­form.

This fund­ing will be mon­i­tored closely and may be re-eval­u­ated if the de­mand for ser­vices ex­ceeds the cur­rent bud­get.

The coun­cil has com­mit­ted to con­tinue to fund the ad­min­is­tra­tion of its lo­cal wel­fare ser­vices to en­sure that those who need sup­port are able to ac­cess it when sup­port is needed.

Fi­nan­cial re­sources will also be used to sup­port Sefton’s help­ing hand ser­vice which man­ages the pro­vi­sion of es­sen­tial house­hold items.

South Sefton and South­port food­banks will also ben­e­fit from a tranche of the fund­ing which will help the ser­vices to main­tain the nec­es­sary lev­els of food and other items in re­sponse to re­fer­rals from the coun­cil’s lo­cal wel­fare scheme.

With­out this fund­ing, many peo­ple across Sefton would not have ac­cess to vi­tal hard­ship sup­port – forc­ing them to go with­out, or faced with no op­tion but to take out high-cost loans to pay for ba­sics such as food, en­ergy or fur­ni­ture.

Sefton Coun­cil’s cab­i­net mem­ber for health and well­be­ing, Cllr Ian Mon­cur, said: “It’s telling that due to the Govern­ment’s aus­ter­ity mea­sures we are see­ing an in­crease in res­i­dents who need ad­di­tional wel­fare sup­port.

“The coun­cil has rightly set aside a sig­nif­i­cant bud­get to help keep es­sen­tial wel­fare ser­vices run­ning, but the hard truth is that even this extra fi­nan­cial sup­port may not be enough for these vi­tal ser­vices to meet the in­creased de­mand.”

Cllr Tr­ish Hardy, Sefton Coun­cil’s cab­i­net mem­ber for com­mu­ni­ties, added: “It is a shame that in 2018 we are still see­ing so many Sefton res­i­dents who are find­ing them­selves im­pacted by wel­fare re­form and fac­ing poverty.

“It is so im­por­tant for the coun­cil to en­sure that its lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties are able to re­ceive the sup­port they need.”

Cllr Tr­ish Hardy – coun­cil must en­sure res­i­dents are sup­ported

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