Agenda item

Household Support Fund


The Assistant Director: Neighbourhood Safety and Transport introduced a report which outlined indicative allocations and spend of a further extension to the government’s COVID Local Support Grant, now the Household Support Fund (£3,049,345.09), which was available to support those most in need with the cost of food, energy (heating, cooking, lighting), water bills (including sewerage), housing support and other essentials.


Due to the absence of any lead-in time before the Grant was effective and given the urgent nature of the spend, the proposals had been implemented in the interim and retrospective ratification was sought from the Committee. This approach had been critical to ensure that help was available forthwith to those most in need, that organisations had sufficient lead-in time to deliver projects and ensure full spend of the Grant.


The Assistant Director responded to comments from Members and confirmed how the contingency element of the fund would be used in helping to address pressures which would arise through the Winter months, which might not be readily identifiable immediately. Spend was being mapped out on a regular basis and funding from the contingency could be moved around to help in those areas of need as they were identified. He commented upon the success of now being able to reach those harder to reach areas across the Borough through the much improved working with the third sector and community groups as a result of the work involved in supporting those most in need. A future piece of work when the grants had concluded would look at who the money had helped and how it had helped to enable a redesign of the crisis support systems in place for the future.


During the course of the discussion on this item, Councillor Lesley Rennie declared a personal interest by virtue of her being a member of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority.


Members expressed their most sincere thanks to the Assistant Director and all the team who had worked so hard over the last eighteen months in helping the Borough’s most vulnerable residents over this difficult time.


On a motion by the Chair, seconded by Councillor Yvonne Nolan, it was –


Resolved – That,


(1)  this Committee gives retrospective ratification to the indicative allocations and spend of the Household Support Fund as outlined below:


Indicative allocations (£)

Wirral Household Support Fund - small grants programme


Wirral Family Cook Off project (Jan-Mar 2022)


Early Years food & essentials hampers (school holidays)


School Emergency Food Pantries


School winter coats and winter uniforms


Financial support with school meal food debt


Wirral Emergency Financial Support with Welfare Needs Scheme


Financial support with fuel (Fuelbank Foundation)


Financial support with fuel (direct debit customers)


Financial support with energy (fuel) and water bills debt


Crisis support with emergency heating (Energy Projects Plus)


Crisis support with white goods

(North Birkenhead Development Trust/St Vincent de Paul Society)


Risk reduction items (Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service)


Housing Support Costs




Admin (5%)




(2)  it be agreed that this decision is urgent and therefore not subject to review.

Supporting documents: