Council must get Financial Support out to Hard-Pressed Households Now, not in June say OWL

The Borough Council must speed up their plans to get agreed financial support to local residents say Our West Lancashire, after news emerged that it could be June before the £150 energy rebate payment starts to be paid, much later than many other councils.

Our West Lancashire’s Chairman, Cllr Adrian Owens said, “To hear that it is likely to be June before the first payments of the £150 energy rebate are made is not good enough.  The scheme was announced at the beginning of February and many residents are clearly already struggling with making ends meet.  Something is wrong at West Lancashire when other councils are making payments around now.”

“Residents are telling us that the council is quick to pass on the council tax increase and take increased monthly payments from people and yet asking why is it so slow to process this rebate.  When so many local households are so financially hard-pressed, this area of the council’s work should be a priority at this time.  I have written to the Council Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder asking that they get involved.”

Cllr Owens concluded, “This delay is even more concerning when one considers that June is only the target date for the first payments.  Those who don’t pay council tax by direct debit could be waiting even longer.  Also, councillors from all parties worked hard to create a £260,000 discretionary Household Support fund at February’s council budget.  This was intended to help households in need, including those not covered by the £150 rebate scheme.  There is no sign at all of that scheme being launched.  It’s time the Council Leadership gave this whole area the attention and priority it needs.”