In April I spoke about how Central Bedfordshire Council continued to support residents with the rising cost of living.
Last year we supported over 9,000 vulnerable households with food, energy and water bills using the Household Support Fund. We’ve continued this support over the summer and further funding has been made available to help residents through the winter.
We’ve used some of this funding to support local food banks and our new Ward Councillor Grants are being used to support a variety of voluntary organisations.
Recognising the pressures facing our residents, the Council has just agreed extra funding for the voluntary sector and Citizen’s Advice so they can help more residents.
We’re also setting up a crisis fund to be administered by our Children’s Centres to provide emergency assistance for families facing hardship.
Our libraries will be open to all as ‘Warm Spaces’ where people can access free Wi-Fi, computer use and study space.
We’re currently consulting on improvements to our Council Tax Support Scheme which, if agreed, will provide more support to those on low incomes by reducing the amount of Council Tax they pay. No existing claimant will receive less support than at present.
At a time when people are struggling with the rising cost of living, it’s more important than ever that people are getting the support they’re entitled to.
Nationally we know there are millions of people who are entitled to but are not claiming Pension Credit. It is an important boost for older people with a low income and can provide access to a wide range of other benefits, including help with council tax. Anyone over 66 years of age can check their eligibility and apply, visit either www.gov.uk/pension-credit or call 0800 99 1234.