Published: 17 March 2023
To help residents with the rising cost of living, Westminster City Council announced an additional £2million cost of living support package in November 2022. The funding was split into two phases, with an initial £1million going towards food banks, energy vouchers, and topping up welfare budgets over the winter.
The second round of funding, announced today, will see £1million go towards:
- Increased support for summer holiday activities and food for families in receipt of Free School Meals/Universal Credit.
- Discretionary Housing Payments to help residents with paying their rent.
- Funding to help community organisations with energy bills and financial pressures.
- Language services to help residents who don’t speak English access vital support.
The funding comes as inflation hits a 40-year high and residents face ever-increasing food prices and energy bills. The council has identified 31,000 households (around 24% of Westminster’s population) that will be hit particularly hard by the cost of living crisis. Residents most affected include single people on low incomes, families with children, pensioners, those with disabilities, and those living in the most deprived wards.
The council recently unveiled its Budget for the financial year 2023/24 which contained a number of cost of living support measures including free school lunches for children aged 3-14, £167million investment in temporary housing, and freezing the Westminster portion of council tax.
Councillor Adam Hug, Leader of Westminster City Council, said:
“This winter has been particularly hard for people on low incomes as they face soaring energy bills and food prices.
“As a Council we are doing everything we can - putting together a £14m package of support which ranges from financial help with school uniforms to making 14,000 children eligible for free school lunches. We’re also freezing the Westminster part of the council tax bill.
“The reality is around a quarter of Westminster households will find be finding it especially tough to make ends meet. This additional package of support will take away some of the pressure and give our residents some much-needed reassurance and peace of mind.”