Young family at the kitchen table

Rotherham Council accepts £1m grant to help financially struggling

More than £1m in grant funding has been accepted by Rotherham Council’s ruling cabinet to help the local authority support those struggling to afford food and bills.

Covid-19 has caused many to fall into financial hardship, with the council taking active steps to help support them and offer a helping hand for food, debt, utility bills and school uniform.

The scheme was approved at the council’s cabinet meeting on December 10, 2020.

Councillor Saghir Alam reportedly raised during the meeting: “For a number of families struggling through the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, having what would be regarded as a normal Christmas [will be] difficult.”

The grant forms part of a wider £170m Covid-19 winter grant scheme, with the money being given to families struggling to afford food and utility bills or other essentials from December to March 2021.

During the meetings, the councillors agreed to split into categories:

  • £492,500 for holiday programmes and food
  • £285,000 for utility bills or debt
  • £200,000 for school uniforms
  • £30,000 for Christmas food

Leader of Rotherham Council, Councillor Chris Read, reportedly told the meeting: “We’re really keen to get this money into the pockets of Rotherham residents who need it as quickly as possible.

“When our budget was the equivalent of £200m a year more, there might have been more of this action that we could have taken within the borough, and we’ve had a government that’s spent 10 years telling us that the people with the lowest incomes are the people who are least deserving of government spending, and it took Marcus Rashford and a global pandemic to turn things around.”

Rotherham Council have reportedly agreed for 80% of the cash to be ring-fenced to support families with children, with 20% of the total grant available to other households experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, poverty during the pandemic.

At least 80% of the money is required to be ring-fenced to provide support with food, energy and water bills, and 20% for other essentials, such as sanitary products, toiletries, blankets and warm clothing.

Families in receipt of free school meals will receive a voucher of £15 per week per child during the Christmas and half term holiday in February.

PSE Dec/Jan 20-21

PSE Dec.Jan 20

Public services committee: Learning from Covid

Click here to read the Dec/Jan issue of our PSE magazine which looks at the lessons we can learn from Covid, what can be done better but maybe even more importantly, what we discovered during the pandemic that should be carried on even when Coronavirus is defeated. Read our interview with Chair of the Public Services Committee, Baroness Hilary Armstrong as well as invaluable insight from Bristol’s Smart City and Innovation Manager, Freyja Lockwood, on how their smart city plans are revolutionising Bristol.

Videos...

View all videos
Cyber Security

Win a £100 Amazon Voucher

Is the Public Sector safe against a cyber-attack?

Have you got 2 minutes to talk to us about cyber security?

PSE has teamed up with Checkpoint, leaders in cyber-security solutions to assess the state of cyber-security in the public sector. 

We want to educate the sector and equip you with the best protection.

Magazine Feature

Keep communities at the heart of planning

Chris Borg, NALC policy manager

Chris Borg discusses the Planning for the Future white paper and explains the importance of residents and local councils having a say when it comes to planning

More articles...

View all