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More hardship cash for struggling Devon residents

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A new hardship fund is being set up for local people struggling with their finances as a result of the pandemic.

Devon County Council is allocating £600,000 in its budget for 2021/22 to support people who need short-term emergency assistance.

This is on top of the £1 million that was made available in the current financial year.

The new cash will be split across Devon’s eight district councils, with each one responsible for considering applications and administering grants in their locality.

Devon’s proposed budget for 2021/22 will be finally approved at the full council meeting on February 18.

Council officials have been waiting for a number of last-minute figures to be confirmed.

Today council leader John Hart confirmed he was proposing the extra cash is added to the budget.

He said: “It’s clear that the effects of the pandemic are going to be felt for some time to come. We set up the emergency fund this year with £1 million from the county and £750,000 from the Government.

“We worked with our colleagues in the district councils to ensure that this money got to the people who needed it most who had been the hardest hit by Covid-19.

“The impact of the coronavirus outbreak is continuing to put a huge financial strain on some people, with work and income changing overnight as a result of the lockdown.

“So we’re looking particularly at a continuing crisis fund to help people between being made redundant and receiving universal credit.

“So if people are worried about money and how to pay for basic household essentials, there’s help available through this fund.

“By working together with our district council colleagues we can make sure this vital financial support quickly reaches the vulnerable people in our communities who need it most in these difficult and uncertain times.”