THE TERRIBLE invasion of Ukraine has now marked its first anniversary and the international community remains resolved to stand up together against the shameful actions of the tyrant Putin.
Thanks to everyone in our community who has opened their home to refugees from this conflict through the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
We are privileged to host 1,000 mainly women and children in Worcestershire.
I support the United Kingdom Government’s continued financial and military backing and hope that with the onset of Spring, the Ukrainian people will push back the illegal invaders.
The impact on our own economy has been marked as well and the weaponisation of global gas supplies continues to have an impact on our own heating bills.
The Government has spent billions of taxpayer funding to help households with their energy bills in a range of different ways.
Last year, people living in houses in the Council Tax bands A to D received £150 in cash and all domestic energy customers have received a £400 grant to help with their energy bills.
More than 8 million households on means tested benefits have received £650 and all pensioner households got an extra £300 to help them cover the rising cost of energy this winter, on top of their annual winter heating payments.
In rural West Worcestershire, we have many households who are ‘off-grid’ receiving their heating through oil or LPG. If they have an electricity supplier who knows this, another £200 will be paid this month.
There are others who live in residential homes with a shared electricity supply and others who live for some of the year in park homes and also have their electricity supplied through a landlord.
Some of these people have not been able to access specific support and the Government has this month unveiled the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Fuels Payment of £200. People can apply by visiting www.gov.uk/apply-energy-bill-support-if-not-automatic.
More than 900,000 people across the country qualify for support under this specific extra scheme. Please do share this information with those you know who may qualify.