Budget - people
Support for residents
Over the last twelve months we’ve worked hard to support residents and businesses in our borough who are most in need, processing and awarding millions of pounds of grant funding through government schemes including the Household Support Fund, the Energy Rebate Fund and the Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund.
Support for vulnerable residents continues as funds like the Household Support Fund have been confirmed for 2023/24. We are currently working on distributing the latest round of the Household Support Fund and have already awarded money to thousands of our most vulnerable residents and local food banks to support their good work in the community. Other grant schemes have been announced including the Energy Bill Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSSAF) and the Alternative Energy Support Scheme (AESS) aimed at providing financial support to those who don’t pay their bills directly to gas or electricity companies, or don’t use traditional mains gas or electricity to power their homes.
For regular updated information about available funding schemes and how to access them see Homes, benefits and council tax.
Last year, we supported 80 Ukrainians seeking refuge in Wyre. The welcome and hospitality shown by our host families has been wonderful to see. The feedback from their guests, many of whom have been through incredible trauma, is that they are extremely appreciative of their host families, the council and the UK in general for supporting them through this difficult time.
Marking historic occasions in Wyre
We joined together to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee. As a council we hosted a series of fantastic free events across the borough which were enjoyed by many and we supported street parties in communities all over Wyre.
We also sadly marked the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, coming together to mourn the loss of our longest serving monarch.
Following the proclamation of King Charles III, we now look ahead to celebrating the coronation of His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort in May. We will be hosting a Wyre Coronation Walk in Garstang on Monday 8 May and are inviting people from all over the borough to join us and enjoy the great British countryside. The walk will be just under 2 miles and there will be music and entertainment along the route as well as medals for finishers. We will also be hosting a volunteer event on the same day in Cherestanc Square as part of the Big Help Out Day. We will be promoting volunteering opportunities in the area and encouraging as many people as possible to help out in their community. We will also make the application for hosting street parties a simple process to encourage celebrations to take place across Wyre.
Holiday Activity and Food Clubs
Hundreds of children have benefitted from our Holiday Activity and Food clubs.
Funded by the Department for Education, we offer clubs in the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays to children on benefits related free school meals. The clubs give young people the chance to be active, socialise and learn new skills and enjoy a healthy lunch during the school holidays.
Health and wellbeing
We have continued to offer a range of activities to help people improve their health and wellbeing. From TrySport for young people, to free weight management programmes, exercise classes and cycling sessions, guided walks, singing groups, reminiscence sessions, creative art sessions and more.
Care and Repair
Our Care and Repair service provides help for homeowners aged over 65 and adults aged over 18 with a disability. Our friendly team can help with repairs, home improvements, maintenance and adaptations. We can help with things such as replacing light bulbs, easing windows and doors, installing grab rails, installing key safes and carrying out small maintenance jobs. We also help residents with filling out forms for Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Carers Allowance.
Protecting vulnerable residents
In an effort to increase the protection for our most vulnerable residents, the level of contribution to the localised council tax support scheme for those previously on full benefit has reduced to 0% in 2023/24, which is significantly lower than some nearby local authorities.
Citizens Advice will continue to receive funding from Wyre at the same level to support their free debt advice service, which helps those affected by welfare reforms, and we will continue to deliver a care and repair service which offers free advice and support to both the over 60s and disabled people.
The Household Support Fund launched in January 2022 and we have distributed hundreds of thousands of pounds already to those on low incomes to support fuel poverty and will continue to do so in 2023/24.