HAMPSHIRE County Council Leader Councillor Rob Humby is demanding more crucial Government support for struggling families and communities this autumn and winter.
The call from the leading Conservative politician to his own party chiefs comes as residents are facing rising fuel bills and potential hardship from the devastating cost of living crisis.
Mr Humby said: “Local government is based in the heart of communities and has the infrastructure in place, working alongside district and borough council partners, as well as the local community and voluntary sector, to ensure assistance gets to those in need.
“Over the past months, we have welcomed the additional national funding provided to support families and older people, for example, through distribution of the Household Support Grant and other funding streams, but much more is now needed.
“As we move into the colder months, and costs rise further, we will continue to work alongside our partners to further explore how we might continue to support local residents.
‘Some exceptionally difficult and
troubling choices this winter’
“However, I will also be pressing government personally, on behalf of the people of Hampshire, to make available to local authorities additional hardship funding so we can further assist the many people, who will be making some exceptionally difficult and troubling choices this winter about how they spend their household budgets.”
The county council already supports people who may be struggling with issues arising from the cost of living crisis. This varies from providing information and support for people with disabilities and older adults who receive social care services, to offering warm and welcoming spaces through the local authority’s libraries for anyone needing a place to work, study or connect with others.
It also includes the planned distribution of Warm Boxes and Fairshare food vouchers, as part of the national Household Support Grant Scheme, as well as the commissioning of a Hampshire-wide helpline, Hitting the Cold Spots, which provides assistance for those struggling to keep their homes warm.
See also Globe Comment.