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Council Says ‘No One Needs To Go Cold or Hungry This Winter’

Published on: 25 Nov, 2021
Updated on: 28 Nov, 2021

Grants are now available to help vulnerable families and individuals in Guildford borough who are struggling to afford food, clothing, fuel and other essentials.

The Department of Work and Pensions’ new Housing Support Fund aims to ease short-term financial pressures this winter.

£421 million has been given to local authorities, £5.3 million of which has been given to Surrey County Council.

Cllr Tim Anderson

Lead Councillor for Resources, Cllr Tim Anderson said: “We have received almost £345,000 from Surrey County Council. It’s excellent that we have this money available to help our vulnerable residents. We know how difficult these next few months can be with the cost of Christmas, the cold and wet weather, and the recent rise in fuel prices.

“To apply you must be over 16, live in Guildford and be without the sufficient resources to meet your immediate short-term needs.”

“We have been supporting our vulnerable residents and local businesses by providing grants throughout the pandemic. Local businesses that have been impacted by restrictions have until  December 31 2021 to apply for up to £10,000 from the Covid Business Development Grant Scheme.

GBC’s deputy leader, Cllr Julia McShane said: “We are here to help. The Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has had a huge impact on our lives socially and financially. These grants will support our vulnerable residents and families with food and other essential items during the coldest months of the year.

“If you’re worried and need help, fill in an application form and email it to: community.wellbeing@guildford.gov.uk. Please give as much detail as possible to help us make an assessment of your household needs and priorities.

Cllr McShane added: “And thank you to our fantastic Community Services Team who have done an amazing job supporting our vulnerable residents.”

Brian Creese, chair of Guildford Labour commented: “While this may seem like welcome news, it will leave many of our residents further back than where they started.

“This is the money clawed back by the government when it stopped paying the £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit and as such will go no-where near compensating struggling families. What is more, getting those grants will involve another round of applications, form-filling, wait and stress – all so they can put food on the table.

“It would have been far better, fairer and straightforward to have left the Universal Credit uplift as it was which would have given struggling families a chance of getting through this winter of soaring inflation and rising taxes. This is the result of a dreadful and cruel decision by government.”

A council spokesperson said “Those who need assistance to complete the application form, should call 01483 458055. Applications can be made by the applicant or their appointee, carer, advocate or a third party acting on their behalf. The council also allows direct referrals from trusted partners through our online application system.”

Successful applicants will receive the grant directly in their bank account. The new grant will run to 31 March 2022.

Struggling families and individuals can also get help with food and fuel through the Surrey Crisis Fund.

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