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Cheshire East Council has been allocated £2.2m of government funding to help provide food and essentials for vulnerable households over winter, writes Belinda Ryan.

The household support fund runs from October 6 to March 31, 2022.

Already some cash-strapped families have contacted the council for more information on how and when they will be able to access the funding.

A report due to go before Wednesday’s (October 20) meeting of the full council states: “The aim of the household support fund is to provide support to vulnerable households in most need of support this winter as the economy recovers.

“In Cheshire East we are proposing to use the £2.2m fund to support vulnerable households with food, utilities and other essentials between October 2021 and March 2022.”

The item has been placed on the agenda of Wednesday’s meeting as a matter of urgent business so the council can accept the grant of £2,203,892 and ensure it gets to those most in need.

The report to the council states: “The grant letter asks for local authorities to be ready to deliver support to vulnerable households from October 6, 2021, and asks that we start making immediate preparations to administer the grant.

“In Cheshire East we would like to act quickly to provide immediate support to our most vulnerable residents by using our established processes to roll out the grant for the October half term as an emergency measure.

“The recent removal of a number of funding initiatives to support adults and families during Covid, including the Covid support grant, £20 uplift to Universal Credit and furlough, is likely to have a financial impact on a number of Cheshire East residents.

“Families are expected to be further affected by the rise in fuel charges and inflation of food prices.”

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