Government Support for the Vulnerable
Government Support for the Vulnerable

Bracknell Forest Council intends to lobby central government to retain the household support grants provided for the last three years. The following text is the motion to be placed before the council.

In 21/22, 22/23 and 23/24 Bracknell Forest administered many grants on behalf of central government in support of our most vulnerable residents.


In 23/24 a total of £1,649,426 was distributed in Household Support grants, Council tax energy rebate scheme, support for energy bills and Council Tax support fund- all supplied form central government.


This Council urgently asks the Government to award similar grants for the 24/25 financial year so that we can again support our most vulnerable residents in these very hard times. Like all other local councils, we do not have sufficient funds to replace such support ourselves, but help is still urgently needed.

Over the past years, the government has issued grants to local councils to support their residents most affected by the cost-of-living increases. A Cross Party Member Welfare Team was established in the previous administration and continued in this to review the plans as to where the money should be allocated. I know we were all impressed by the extra support these funds enabled for so many of our most vulnerable residents.

The funding has been used to provide vouchers in the school holidays for families receiving free school meals. Support worth over £225,000 was given to Bracknell Forest pupils in the 2023 Summer holidays. The council supported an additional 1,627 households with grants and referrals for essential living costs during the 2022-2023 financial year. A further £105,000 has been provided to local charities to extend their support to low-income families.

The software LIFT (Low Income Family Tracker) has been used to identify, contact and support many residents who are entitled to claim for benefits provided by the government, but have never done so. Many of these were pensioners.

The Government obviously realised that this funding was desperately needed and indeed it has made a great difference for so many.

BUT these grants are due to end in March 2024 and the DWP has not confirmed any further funding: none were mentioned in the recent Autumn statement.

The high cost of fuel, food, rent and mortgages are still having a huge impact on our residents and support is still urgently needed. As you are all aware, The Council does not have sufficient funding to finance this support itself.

I therefore ask Council members to support this motion enabling us to write to the Government, requesting that similar grants are awarded, to continue post April 2024

Mary Temperton, Leader, Bracknell Forest Council

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