As we head into November and then the winter, we know it will be a challenging time with more people facing hardship than usual. That’s why it is vitally important that support continues to be there for those in need. Since the Coronavirus outbreak started in March, our government has provided a truly unprecedented amount of financial support and this is continuing through the upcoming four-week lockdown.
Following last weekend’s announcement, the furlough scheme will be extended until the end of November as will mortgage holidays. Business premises which are legally forced to close will receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month and £1.1 billion will also be provided to Local Authorities like Crawley Borough Council to enable support to businesses.
In the days prior to the government announcement, West Sussex County Council was reminding residents of their Community Hub, that gives practical support and assistance to anyone adversely affected by Covid-19, including providing access to food and essential household supplies, together with information, advice and guidance.
Available from 8am to 8pm seven days a week, the West Sussex Community Hub has received £737,319 in funding from the government’s Local Authority Emergency Assistance Grant to support people struggling with food and essential supplies. This funding has been used by the Hub to get support quickly to those in need. £383,000 of that money has been spent directly on food or other essential supplies for vulnerable people.
Additionally, £100,000 has been allocated to Citizens Advice and associated charities to operate an emergency utility scheme and refer eligible people needing assistance with food to the Community Hub. A further £60,000 of the grant has been allocated via established Food Banks to provide food within communities. Having delivered 3,437 urgent food parcels so far, the Community Hub will remain open throughout the winter and the County Council is already looking at what capacity is needed over the Christmas holiday period.
We are absolutely determined that no one in need slips through the net and I’m pleased to provide reassurance that support for those facing hardship locally will be there throughout the winter.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
4th November 2020