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Southwark Council announces funding to support with soaring energy bills

9 June 2023

As the cost of living crisis persists, Southwark Council has announced financial support for residents living in low-income households struggling to cope with energy bills.

The new round of funding was announced at this week’s Cost of Living Summit thank you event which brought together partners from across the voluntary sector, schools, TRAs, businesses and cultural institutions to help shape Southwark’s long-term cost of living response ahead of another difficult winter period ahead. The cross sector response has been integral in supporting residents through the relentless pressures of the financial crisis from collectively distributing £30 million in support to residents via the Cost of Living Fund to opening more than 40 warm spaces locally.

Over 60,000 eligible residents living in low-income households and not receiving benefits will receive a one-off payment of £60 via Southwark’s Cost of Living Fund 2023/24 – a £11million commitment to low-income households at risk of hardship due to the higher cost of food, energy, and other essentials. While there is no obligation to pay back the payment, residents can opt to do so if they wish.

The payment comes as many will have received higher bills in April and May following the end of the government’s Energy Bill Support Scheme in March.

To be eligible, residents must meet the following criteria:

  • Living in and liable for Council Tax for a property in Southwark on 1st April 2023;
  • the property is in council tax bands A, B, or C; and
  • you were not receiving Council Tax Reduction on the 1 April 2023

Those eligible will receive payment by the end of June. Payments will be made via BACS transfers to those who pay their council tax by direct debit or as Post Office Payout vouchers for those that do not pay their council tax by direct debit.   While households in receipt of Council Tax Reduction (CTR) are not eligible for this payment, the council continues to support those in need through other measures. One example includes the provision of support for families with children attending Southwark schools and eligible for Free School Meals (all on benefits) during school holidays this year and up to the Easter holidays in 2024.

Councillor Stephanie Cryan, Cabinet Member for Communities, Democracy and Finance, said: “We are here to offer a helping hand to our local residents struggling to make ends meet. While we recognise that the allocated funds may be a modest amount, we believe that every little bit makes a difference in times of need. Where the Government has stopped its support for those struggling with energy bills, we are stepping in to make sure those most in need continue to get help with paying their bills.

“We are on the side of our residents. Together with our community partners, we want to make a lasting difference to the lives of our residents beyond immediate financial support but also long-term solutions including the creation of apprenticeships and training opportunities to enhance employment prospects, providing energy-efficient homes, and free healthy school meals for children.”

For more information on cost of living support, visit: www.southwark.gov.uk/benefits-and-support/cost-of-living-support

Page last updated: 09 June 2023

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