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Cllr Dr.Paul Barrow - Economic help & support

on Fri, 26/08/2022 - 4:24pm

Help and support during the current economic problems.

We are all aware of increased energy and food prices and the need to balance one against the other which can lead to financial and other problems. The Vale District Council can help with any difficulties and I urge anyone with problems in the next several months to contact them.

We are advised to direct residents to which gives details of contacts and information for sources of help in paying bills during times of hardship, help with rent payment and council tax payment and with general difficulties including health issues and loneliness.

The Community Hub is a good first port-of-call which can help individuals and families with financial or other difficulties. [email protected]. Tel: 01235 422600

Connection Support Tel: 01865 711267 can also provide advice in dealing with all sorts of problems.

Please also keep an eye on your neighbours!

This information on the Vale website is summarised below for convenience.

Food Support

There are different ways to obtain help and support.

  1. The Household Support Fund ( can also help if you have difficulty in affording food and/or essential household items. This is open only to pensioners. Accessing this involves completing a form which you or a friend/neighbour can do on your behalf. The form needs to be sent by email to either Citizens Advice (Email: [email protected] Tel: 01235 750752) or Vale Community Impact ([email protected] Tel: 01235 355359).

If you’re unable to fill in the form online and email it, a paper version of the application form is available by contacting the Community Hub. Processing may take 5-10 days as there is likely to be high demand.

Please ensure you apply before Sept 30. We don’t currently know what scheme will be available after this date as this is funded by central government to help with recovery from the Covid pandemic.

  1. If you or someone you know is struggling to afford food, Community Food Services can help. You can find out more at This will help you find the food banks, food larders and community fridges which are based at Wantage, Abingdon or Faringdon. If you don’t have internet access call the Community Hub for further information.
  2. If you’re pregnant or have a child under 4 you may be eligible for the healthy start scheme to help buy some basic foods. Tel: 0345 076823 or visit

Financial support

Help with paying bills, council tax or food bills can be found.

If you are having problems with council tax as a result of income loss contact the Vale. Tel: 0345 302 2315 or [email protected]. If you are not employed you can apply for council tax reduction and your payment will be frozen for 30 days while the application is processed. Application is online and if this is not possible call the phone number above.

We have heard that there have been some delays with the £150 rebate payment.

Other financial advice relating to unemployment, sick pay, universal credit etc can be found at

For general financial advice, you can contact the Citizens Advice Bureau. [email protected] Tel: 01235 750752

Housing support

If you are having problems paying your rent and you’re on a low income you may be able to get help. Please look at You can also apply for short term discretionary payment support. Please look at

Please look at for help if you’re having difficulty paying your mortgage as a result of increased interest rates.

Health and wellbeing

Looking after our mental health and wellbeing at times like this is important.  There are a variety of organisations and websites that may be able to offer you the support, advice and help. Your GP will also provide good advice.

Every Mind Matters.

Age UK for someone you know who might be elderly and lonely.

The Marmalade Trust for loneliness issues.

The Hub of Hope for information on available services.

Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Mental Health Helpline. This is available 24/7. Tel. 01865 904997 for adults and 01865 904998 for children.

Samaritans. Tel. 116 123

Mind.  Tel. 0300 123 3393

CALM specifically for men under 45 with mental health issues. Tel 0800 585858

If you have any trouble accessing the information at the Vale please feel free to contact me at [email protected] or on 07557  953862.

Cllr Dr Paul Barrow
Ridgeway Ward

[email protected] 

District Councillor for Ridgeway Ward