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District Dispatch - 11 January 2023

The year ahead is likely to be yet to be another challenging one, as we all continue to deal with cost-of-living pressures. This is why our 'Supporting You' campaign continues to be a key focus for us.

District dispatch 1

The campaign aims to provide you with updates on the latest schemes and support that is available both from our council, the Government and our partners. There have been quite a few updates recently and so I thought it would be worth highlighting some of them.

One that everyone can benefit from is the Government's 'Get around for £2 scheme.' People can travel by bus for £2 on over 4,600 routes in England. £60 million of Government funding has been used to bring down the cost of single tickets until 31 March. You can find the full list of bus routes included in the scheme on the Bus Fare Cap guidance webpage (opens new window). To help you plan your journey it's worth visiting the 'traveline' website (opens new window) which not only tells you if a particular bus journey is part of the scheme, but it also provides live updates on the buses operating near you.

I also want to remind you of the Warmer Home programme, which provides grants to install home energy efficiency and renewable energy measures within your home. If your heating bills are particularly high then it may mean that your home isn't very energy efficient, and that by making improvements you'll be able to reduce your energy bills. Funding under this scheme is available until March 2023, for improved insulation; air source heat pumps; and solar PV panels. To qualify, your household income has to be £30,000 or less, or you need to be in receipt of means-tested benefit. Your home must also have an Energy Performance Certificate of E, F or G (with limited funding for EPC D rated properties). If you're not sure what your rating is, you can find your energy certificate via the government website (opens new window). If your home has never had an EPC and you think it is likely to have a poor standard of energy efficiency, please contact Warmer Homes on 0800 038 5737 who may be able to arrange for an assessment to be done. The Warmer Homes programme is available to both owner occupiers and private rental tenants. To find out more, please visit the Warmer Homes site (opens new window).

I also wanted to make you aware that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced more detail on the payment schedule for the next round of cost-of-living support. The £900 payment for over eight million eligible means-tested benefits claimants (including those on Universal Credit, Pension Credit and tax credits) starts in spring. Payments will go directly to bank accounts in three payments over the course of the financial year. There will also be a separate £150 for over six million disabled people and £300 for over eight million pensioners on top of their winter fuel payment. Payments will be made automatically if individuals are eligible and there will be no need to apply. Claimants who are eligible for any of the cost-of-living payments and receive tax credits, and no other means-tested benefits, will receive payment from HM Revenue and Customs shortly after DWP payments are issued.

Our new Supporting You team has been going from strength to strength, helping those who are struggling during these difficult times. This includes with help on income maximisation, debt advice, employment advice, budgeting support and health and wellbeing advice. You can get in touch with them through our website via the Supporting You team webpage or by calling 01243 534860.

The response we have received to our campaign has been incredibly positive and I'd like to thank everyone who has supported this. To find out more about the campaign, please our .

Best Wishes

Cllr Eileen Lintill

Leader of Chichester District Council

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