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News reports located on this page = 3.

Letter To Editor:- "National Petition against overhead cabling in Southport"

"I am a resident in the Southport area and worried about the reported plans by OpenReach to install telegraph poles and attach boxes, along with overhead cabling throughout Southport and other areas, like:- Churchtown, Ainsdale and Birkdale. We have had very little warning about this and if it goes ahead it will become a visual blight on our streets. This might not concern you, but if you do not want this on your road, please do sign the online petition, on the:- Petition.Parliament.UK." James, Churchtown.

Let us know your thoughts on this news topic... Email our Newsroom at:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com or send us a message on:-  Mastodon, Facebook or Twitter.

North West to receive £66 million Household Support Fund extension

A further £66 million to help those most in need with the cost of essentials has been allocated to Councils across the North West, from:- Monday, 1 April 2024.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is awarding the money through an extension to its Household Support Fund; which Councils use to support vulnerable residents with the cost of essentials including:- food, energy bills, and emergency costs like new boilers.

It means people across the Region will have received £396.4 million of Household Support Fund investment since it launched in October 2021.

The Fund, totalling £2.5 billion since its inception, is part of the unprecedented £108 billion cost of living support package which has prevented 1.3 million people falling into poverty.

This extension comes as the economy is turning a corner, with inflation more than halved, tax cuts worth an average of £900 for 29 million hardworking people, and a huge boost to the National Living Wage coming into effect from today.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said:- "We've protected vulnerable people from cost of living pressures with the biggest support package in Europe, preventing 1.3 million people falling into poverty. Extending the Household Support Fund means people in the North West can access help with essentials, as we grow the economy by making work pay; cutting taxes by £900 for the average worker, raising the National Living Wage after 7 successive months of real wage growth, and driving down inflation."

Direct support such as the Household Support Fund comes on top of Government plans to help over a million long term unemployed, sick and disabled people back into the world of work.

The £2.5 billion Back to Work plan will help break down barriers to work, while the Chance to Work Guarantee will give people the opportunity to try work without risk of losing any benefit entitlement.

The Fund is being extended for a fifth time with £421 million for local authorities across England. £79 million is being allocated to the devolved administrations as a result of the Barnett Formula.

The move comes alongside a raft of Government measures kicking in today that will see millions of people better off, including:-

  • National Living Wage increase to:- £11.44 an hour for people aged 21 and over.

  • Increase in Local Housing Allowance; worth £800 a year for 1.6 million eligible households.

  • 15 hours free childcare for every eligible working parent in the UK.

  • New, lower Energy Price Cap as energy bills fall again.

As well as the Household Support Fund, there's a range of other support available. Through the Help for Households campaign, people have access to information and support on a range of issues; from help with childcare costs to mental health advice and more.

To find out what support you may be eligible for go to Help for Households on how to get Government cost of living support, please visit:- Gov.UK.

What are your thoughts about Universal Credit?

DID you know that Universal Credit is not just for those who are out of work? The system now being used is for all forms of Government support schemes, but is the system fit for purpose, or is it a costly mistake that is driving more people into far worse hardship and risking the economic viability of the nation?

We are interested to hear your thoughts and views on this topic.  We have recently started an investigation into the operation of  Universal Credit and looking at the effects its having on those having to deal with the new systems. Many have already said they feel a lot of stigmatism and hostility being directed at them for claiming Universal Credit. Many have said they are made to feel are lazy, and worried about both their financial and employment future. We are interested to know if this is, as we have experienced, adding to anxiety and stress levels of those claiming support. This added pressure will quite possibly affect not only the economy, but also put added pressure on the NHS, if we go with many industry experts predictions.

Many people do not realise that this is far from correct, with thousands of people now being told to go to Job Centres throughout the UK to look for new employment or risk loosing the support they are being given, just because they are claiming support.

Please do let us know your thoughts about Universal credit by emailing our Newsroom, at:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com. or send us a message on:- Mastodon, Facebook, or Twitter.

We will not give any names, contact information, or any information you do not want anything you tell us to be shown in public, unless you allow us to do so. Please clearly say if you are ok for us to use the information you supply within the top and bottom of your correspondence, also at the end of your email or letter, please confirm what we can use, if anything when reporting, or contacting the Government for comment. If you would like us to forward your contact information ad name to MP's or the Government for them to respond to you about your concerns, please also let us clearly know, otherwise we will not use your name, or disclose any contact information.

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