Wigan Council chiefs join the chorus in advocating for Household Support Fund assistance

Finance, welfare, and children’s services leaders from Wigan Council in the UK are adding their voices to the growing calls for an extension of the Household Support Fund (HSF).

As the spring budget approaches, these cabinet members are supporting the increasing number of pleas from various sectors, including local government, community, and charities, urging the central government to continue funding beyond the next month.

Amidst budget cuts, the HSF has been crucial in providing hardship payments to thousands of residents in need. In Wigan Borough, it has worked alongside the Here For You welfare support campaign, offering assistance such as Warm Welcoming Spaces, food pantry vouchers, and energy payments.

Leading charities like The Children’s Society, Barnardo’s, The Trussell Trust, and Joseph Rowntree Foundation have all joined the call for an extension of the fund for at least another year.

Councillor Nazia Rehman, responsible for finance, resources, and transformation, stated, “We have consistently advocated for a long-term financial plan for local government to ensure essential services are maintained. The uncertainty surrounding the Household Support Fund adds further pressure on town halls already facing challenging budget decisions.”

Over the past two years, the HSF has provided over £14m in support to Wigan Borough. Councillor Susan Gambles, in charge of housing and welfare, emphasised the importance of protecting the most vulnerable in society, highlighting the fund’s role in preventing crises for many residents.

In Wigan Borough, nearly half of the fund has been allocated to feeding school-aged children during school holidays. Councillor Jenny Bullen, responsible for children and families, expressed concerns about the potential impact of scrapping the fund on families in the borough and urged the government to reconsider their decision.

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