£5m Cost of Living support approved

Published: Friday, October 21, 2022

Wandsworth Council Leader Simon Hogg explains the ambitious plan to support residents through the cost-of-living crisis after the package was approved by Full Council.

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A full meeting of Wandsworth Council has given the green light to the council's package of support totalling more than £5m.

The funding will be used to support a range of organisations, projects and initiatives all designed to give residents more support during these difficult times, with a strong emphasis on partnership working across all of our communities.

This will include:

  • £185k to the Wandsworth Citizen’s Advice Bureau to employ more advisors
  • £1m being given to The Wandsworth Discretionary Social Fund
  • All eligible households getting a one-off Winter Cost of Living Payment of up to £150.

Council Leader Simon Hogg said: “The new Council administration is absolutely committed to making sure it does everything possible to help people through this winter and beyond. We are not prepared to let anyone fall through the cracks.

“We have set aside this money to work with our partners and local charities to help provide the best support we can for those people who are struggling as a result of the national cost of living crisis.

“This will include an additional £1m being given to The Wandsworth Discretionary Social Fund which will go straight into the pockets of our most vulnerable residents. These plans will also not affect your council tax. We will keep the same low council tax – this is the right thing to do as it is a tax that hits those on low incomes the most.

“We are determined to make a difference and as we are seeing with policies such as free school uniforms for struggling families our council administration is already making an impact.”

The extra £1m for the Wandsworth Discretionary Social Fund will provide additional assistance to the borough’s most vulnerable residents who are experiencing hardship.  This includes crisis payments such as food vouchers and fuel grants to help people in emergency situations, as well as community care grants to support vulnerable households.  In addition, the council will give all eligible households a one-off Winter Cost-of-Living Payment of up to £150.

Further money will be channelled into supporting businesses, health initiatives, housing support, employment, and financial schemes.

The Council has already announced a range of initiatives to help people during the cost-of-living crisis such as a new School Uniform Support Scheme which means families struggling financially will not have to pay for costly school uniforms when they transition to their next school, with more than a thousand children benefiting.

An online Cost-of-Living Hub has also been put together on its website including details on grants to help with fuel bills, advice on reducing bills, information on benefits and what to do in a crisis, help available for families, where to get mental health support and links to community organisations and charities that can help.

To support this work the Council will be convening a Cost-of-Living Commission to hear from residents about how their lives are being impacted and help shape what further action can be taken to support them.