Council welcomes funding to support families in need

Published Friday 20 November 2020 at 15:55

The leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council says he is pleased with government funding to help families struggling with food and bills this winter but warned government needed to do more to tackle poverty.

Councillor Mohammed Khan said the money will build on the work done by the Council to support the borough’s most vulnerable families and moves to further develop the borough’s food partnership, which links up the council with local community organisations to make sure people don’t go hungry.

But he reiterated once again the government needed to come up with long term solutions to ending food poverty and reverse ten years of austerity that have increased inequality especially in northern boroughs like Blackburn with Darwen.

Councillor Khan said:

The pandemic has made our borough’s struggles even harder. Many families were already facing hardship because of years of austerity. COVID has exacerbated that.

A short term grant over winter is a sticking plaster to the wider issues we face as a borough, which really needs major government policy interventions to fundamentally solve it. However, we have families potentially going hungry now so I welcome the new funding announcement by the Prime Minister to ensure those struggling with food and bills this winter will get some support.

I am glad the government finally listened to the overwhelming outpouring of concern and anger about this issue.

As a Council, despite the many years of austerity, we have put in a place a number of initiatives that support our most vulnerable. As important, we have also developed very strong partnerships with community organisations such as our excellent food banks and other groups. We are making progress and our work to build a more prosperous borough was paying dividends before this horrible virus hit.

Ultimately though we want to be in a situation where food banks are out of business because we have eliminated food poverty. This Council will continue fighting for the residents of the borough, lobbying for the resources we need to make a real difference and do what we can in our power to improve our communities

Councillor Julie Gunn, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, added:

I welcome any funding we can use to support our most vulnerable children and young people. Officers are working on the details about how we administer the grant and we’ll be announcing fully how it will work very soon. It will complement the schemes we have developed with our local community which I wholeheartedly believe are making a difference on the lives of children and young people. But I want to very clear, we are doing our best for our borough within the resources and powers we have. We are one of the richest nations in the world. It scandalous that anyone should go hungry. We really need central government to step up and properly address rising poverty in this country.”

Nobody should be going hungry so please don’t forget the Help Hub is available to offer support too, please call Blackburn with Darwen Help Hub on: 01254 588111.



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