Woman receiving food

LGA welcomes Covid-19 grant scheme extension

The Local Government Association (LGA) has welcomed the government’s announcement that a Covid-19 grant scheme providing help with food and bills for vulnerable households has been extended until June.

Work and Pensions Secretary, Therese Coffey, said that an extra £40 million will be available to councils in England through the COVID Local Support Grant, which was previously called the COVID Winter Grant.

It will now run until 20 June, in line with England’s roadmap, which is expected to see final lockdown restrictions lifted on 21 June.

The scheme, which allows councils to provide support to families and individuals, had originally been due to expire on 31 March but had already been extended to 16 April.

Commenting, Chair of the LGA’s Resources Board, Councillor Richard Watts said: “This further funding will help councils to continue to provide much needed support to low income households at risk of poverty and financial hardship, as the government continues its gradual easing of the Coronavirus measures.

“Councils will, for example, be able to provide further targeted support to families entitled to free school meals during the May holiday period.

“To ensure that we are able to best address the underlying drivers of disadvantage and break cycles of poverty in the longer term, the LGA is discussing with government and partners how best to enable councils to provide integrated, preventative support to low-income households.”

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