Household Support Fund extended to help residents this winter
To support vulnerable residents over the winter period, a further £694,000 will be made available until March 2023 via the Household Support Fund (HSF).
To date, the HSF, has successfully helped support more than 2,400 households to pay for energy bills, food, clothing and wider essentials. The funding has also supported more than 4,000 children across our district by providing Free School Meal vouchers, recognising the additional financial pressure during this time.
The provision of Free School Meal vouchers will be prioritised to assist and support children during school holidays and will be made available directly via early-years settings and schools.
The funding has been provided to us by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as we are best placed to distribute the funds directly to help those who need it the most. The funding is limited and the remainder, after delivery of school meal vouchers, will be made available by an application process to assist vulnerable residents, pensioners and children across West Berkshire who are not eligible for other kinds of help or need further support.
Cllr Lynne Doherty, Leader of West Berkshire Council, said: “It is important that our ongoing efforts to support residents this winter continues with this additional round of funding available to support our most vulnerable households in West Berkshire.
“I am very pleased that the HSF has been extended as our role is pivotal to support those households and children locally that need it.
“Since the pandemic started, we have paid out £1.4 million to residents who are facing financial hardship including £200,000 distributed to local charities last week to support those of pensionable age, the cost of living support hub and a £100,000 emergency support fund.
“I would encourage residents who meet the HSF criteria to submit their applications early to ensure you don’t lose out on receiving this funding.”
The Household Support Fund can be accessed online by following this link: https://www.westberks.gov.uk/householdsupportfund. Please note funding is limited and demand is high.
If you are having difficulties with applying please contact the Customer Services team on: 01635 551111 (opening hours Monday-Thursday 8:30am – 5:00pm, Friday 8:30am-4:30pm. Closed on Saturday and Sunday).
If you are experiencing financial difficulties managing your household essentials, please visit our directory of service: Debt Advice which provides useful details of organisations that offer advice and support in respect of finances.
To find out more about the support Central Government is offering to manage the rise in cost of living, please take a look at the government support for the cost of living factsheet.
Thursday 22 September 2022 is World Car Free Day which encourages motorists to give up their cars for a day and think about using more sustainable transport for everyday journeys.
To encourage and show our support for having a day with less motor traffic on the roads, we will be offering free bus travel across West Berkshire all day on 22 September – giving more reason to leave the car at home.
Following on from the popularity of the previous free bus travel initiatives we had last Christmas, over Easter, and for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, we have again worked in partnership with Reading Buses, Newbury & District, Thames Travel, Stagecoach, Going Forward Buses and Horseman Coaches to offer free travel on these operators’ services for World Car Free Day. Operators will also allow passengers to return from places further afield free of charge for the first time and Concessionary Bus Passes will still be accepted on the day.
There are no time restrictions as travel for the day will be available to Newbury, Thatcham, Reading, Basingstoke and Swindon. A great reason for us all to do our part for World Car Free Day and use the bus to get to work, college, school, go out for a day trip, go shopping, or even to meet family or friends for a bite to eat.
Cllr Richard Somner, Executive Member for Planning, Transport and Countryside at West Berkshire Council, said: “We are really pleased to be working with our bus service partners to again provide free bus travel for our residents across West Berkshire on World Car Free Day.
“From an environmental perspective, using the bus is a great way to reduce our carbon footprint and do our bit for the planet. For those who don’t use public transport, this is the perfect time to use the bus, walk, cycle or take the train and leave the car at home to try an alternative mode of transport, if you can.”
Further information can be found on our transport page of the website.
The Parish Council has opened a book of condolence in St Gregory’s Church in Welford for any wishing to sign it. The signatures will be stored at West Berks Council Offices.
An online book of condolence is also available on the royal.uk website.
Welford Parish Council is deeply saddened at the news of the death of Her Majesty The Queen. Our thoughts are with the Royal Family at this time.
An official book of condolence has been opened on the royal.uk website.
A Newbury Today article about the work Welford Parish Council has been doing at Marsh Common in Weston can be found below:
More information about Marsh Common can be found on our Amenities page
Are you paying more for fuel because you live in West Berkshire? Laura Farris MP Survey
Are the prices at the pumps higher in West Berkshire than in neighbouring areas? Laura Farris, MP for Newbury, is conducting a survey to find out.
Please follow the link below if you would like to complete the fuel prices survey:
Newbury Weekly News Article: Welford Parish Council member steps down as chairman after 40 years
A recent NewburyToday article, by Cameron Blackshaw, following the stepping down of our chairman in May:
Eight Bells Community Strength
A community-based service has been introduced to prevent and reduce social isolation and improve mental health and well-being for people throughout West Berkshire. They are looking for both volunteers to become local community navigators and welcome any referrals from people needing the service. Please see below for more information:
Keeping you up to date with Parish news and events. If you have an event or news item you would like to share please email the Parish Clerk
Parish Clerk Contact Details
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