30 Sept 2022

Progress on Council's 'Hardship Fund' welcomed

'Support for those in need this winter due to soaring energy prices' - Cllr Doyle

'Support for those in need this winter due to soaring energy prices' - Cllr Doyle

'Support for those in need this winter due to soaring energy prices' - Cllr Doyle.

There has been a welcome for the “progress” made in the establishment of a ‘Hardship Fund’ by . Derry City and Strabane District Council

Speaking to Derry Now, Cllr Emmet Doyle (Aontú) said the ‘Hardship Fund’ was being set up to support those in need this winter due to soaring energy prices.

Cllr Doyle added: ““Council has been working over the last while to plan for and put in place a scheme that would help our constituents in the absence of any help from Stormont.

“This week we finalised some of the details. Constituents in need who meet a range of open criteria will be able to get a voucher for £100 towards their energy needs. Yesterday I secured that gas top up customers would receive two £49 top ups compared to the planned one.

“I have to be clear that this scheme will not help everyone in need in the district. Councils unfortunately don’t have the resources to build funds to the size that would be required, only Stormont or Westminster would and both have largely ignored the problem here.

“The scheme is planned to open the week beginning October 17 October and people can either contact a local community organisation, their local Councillor or self refer to be checked for eligibility. A charity partner will then secure the energy for you so no one will be given £100 cash,” said Cllr Doyle.

Cllr Doyle said more details of the scheme would be made available in the coming weeks.

“I am determined to see as many people getting help as we can possibly manage, but ultimately the £308k we have budgeted for the scheme has come from savings and is a drop in the ocean compared to what I know many people need.”

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