The Somerset Guardian, 23rd June 2021

This week, the Minister for Welfare Delivery wrote to all Members of Parliament regarding the extension of the Covid Local Support Grant scheme.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has provided an unprecedented package of support for individuals, families, communities and businesses who need financial help at this critical time. The Covid Local Support Grant (previously known as the Covid Winter Grant Scheme) has enabled Local Authorities in England to support families across the country who are struggling with the cost of food and utility bills as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The programme has run from 1st December 2020 with a total investment of over £269m thus far. Between 1st December 2020 and 16th April 2021, Local Authorities had made almost 6.3m awards.

I am delighted to report that the Covid Local Support Grant arrangements will be extended for a final time, with a further investment of £160m, to cover the period up to 30th September 2021. This temporary support is being extended beyond the planned ending of restrictions in order to help families as the economy recovers and the vaccine rollout continues.

Well-paid work is the best route out of poverty hence why the Government has formulated a Plan for Jobs. The Covid Local Support Grant is in addition to the £220m Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme, which has been scaled up to cover the whole of England across the major school holidays in 2021 – including this summer. The HAF will provide disadvantaged children across the country with healthy meals and stimulating activities.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance: