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Hull City Council: Plans for £3m winter hardship fund revealed

A Hull City Council report, published today, details proposals of how vulnerable households will be provided with help with essentials over winter as the city continues its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

In September, in response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the cost of living, the Government announced a £500m Household Support Fund, to be distributed by local councils.

Hull City Council has been allocated £3,038,293.68 and has discretion on how the money is used, within guidance from the Department for Work and Pensions.

The fund can be used for essentials such as food and bills over the winter period.

Part of the allocation has already been used to provide food vouchers worth £15 a week to households in receipt of free school meals over the October half-term, at cost of about £210,000.

The remaining funding has to be allocated by 31 March 2022.

Councillor Phil Webster, portfolio holder for finance, said: “We know residents have been severely affected by the pandemic and associated cost-of-living increases as restrictions have been lifted and the economy has reopened.

“There are also the added pressures of rising bills, the Universal Credit cap and the end of the furlough scheme.

“We have given careful consideration as to how best to help residents and believe we have put together a good, balanced package that will provide help where it is needed.”

“The Government has directed that at least 50 per cent of the money will be used for financially vulnerable households with children, and the proposals include the continued provision of food vouchers for all school holidays up to and including Easter 2022.”

The council will use existing data to identify vulnerable households, but funding will also be available in other specific areas for anyone who contacts the council in need of help.

The report will be heard by Hull City Council’s Finance and Value for Money Overview Scrutiny Committee on Friday 19 November, before progressing to Cabinet on Monday 22 November.

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