Salford Council calls on Government to extend vital funding

Thousands of Salford residents could soon lose vital funding which helps with household bills and food, as council bosses call on the government to extend support.  

The Household Support Fund (HSF), a government funded scheme which currently helps more than 18,000 residents in the borough, is due to expire at the end of the month.

Political leaders from Labour, Conservative and the Lib Dems, have joined forces and created a ‘united’ front to urge the government to extend the fund, which supports households covering the cost of food, water, and energy bills as well as other essentials.

Both the City Mayor, Paul Dennett and the Conservative Councillors Group – along with Salford’s Members of Parliament have written to the Secretary of State to highlight the concerns around the impact of the loss and what it will mean for Salford residents.

Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “In these trying times, the fund has been more than a financial aid; it has been a source of hope and solidarity across Salford. The continuation of the Household Support Fund transcends fiscal considerations, embodying our moral responsibility to ensure no one is left behind, and that families do not have to choose between heating or eating.”

Quays News reporter Emmanuel Omoregbee spoke to Jenny Lee, a volunteer from Food Pantry, who highlighted the shortage of food parcels for residents that need to use food banks.

She said: “We’ve had to introduce a waiting list and the list is getting bigger and bigger with more people coming to us for help, but we’re struggling so it isn’t balancing itself out.”

Introduced in 2021, the most recent round of funding saw Salford allocated £5.4 million.

A recent report from Greater Manchester Poverty Action revealed that this funding “provided a vital lifeline to [Salford] residents experiencing financial difficulties” and the end of this funding would mean a “significant” impact on the council’s ability to support residents.

In addition to the HSF supporting households, the scheme provides food vouchers in school holidays given to children eligible for Free School Meals and contributes to other areas of society such as food banks, housing, adult social care and welfare.

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