Support Available for Households Struggling with Rising Cost of Living

Message from MVDC

Councillor Bridget Kendrick, Deputy Leader for Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) and Cabinet Member for Finance said: “The Chancellor unveiled the autumn budget and confirmed the UK is officially in a recession on Thursday 17 November. It is clear, given the level of measures outlined, that the squeeze on household budgets will be getting tighter still for the foreseeable future. We know that many of our residents are worried about the rising prices and the cost of living crisis, but there are many ways in which people can receive help. Support is available at the district and county levels. MVDC officers are working hard to pay the final discretionary grants to eligible residents and all payments will be made by the end of November.

“If your income is below a certain level, you might be entitled to Council Tax Support. You could also qualify if you are out of work. If you receive Universal Creditthis will normally include any housing costs you are entitled to, but it will not include any financial help for Council Tax. Help can also be provided based on the gross weekly income of all other adults sharing your home, if they are not your partner, not responsible for council tax, or not paying you rent. Use the Benefits Calculator to see if you could qualify for Council Tax Support.

“If you need help or advice with applying for either Council Tax Support or Universal Credit, our friendly customer services team are available 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday to help you over the phone or by email. You can reach us by email on info@molevalley.gov.uk or call 01306 885001 (this number is open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm, except the first and third Wednesday of every month when it will open from 10am to allow for customer services staff training). Should you need to come in and see us we can make an appointment for you to pop in to our Dorking offices at a time to suit you between 9am and 2.30pm.

Our teams are available to support and help with:

  • Offering advice with claiming other welfare benefits that you may be entitled to
  • Helping you complete your claim for Council Tax Support
  • Offering personal budgeting support to help you to manage your money (in certain circumstances)
  • Providing online access in our offices at Pippbrook to help you complete your Universal Credit claim

“If you are struggling to put food on the table, we have two food banks available in Mole Valley to support those in financial hardship: one in Dorking and one in Leatherhead (Part of the Epsom and Ewell branch) as well as a network of Community Fridges supplying healthy and fresh food to local communities in need.

“MVDC’s businesses have a range of options to apply for business rates reductions – from discretionary reliefs and small business rate relief, to reliefs for hardship and part occupation. More information can be found on our business rates web page.

Business owners can also apply to re-profile their payments for example by switching from 10 to 12 monthly instalments in a full financial year. If you are falling behind with your business rates instalments, please get in touch with us on business.rates@molevalley.gov.ukand we’ll be happy to work with you on individual repayment plans.

“We are also reviewing our Housing Allocation Scheme, to ensure that it is more efficient and maximises available support for people in need. In fact, a consultation to get your views on suggested changes is live now and will close on 4 December.

MVDC’s online Cost of Living Hub, provides lots of useful information on other support that we have available for our residents. The page is regularly updated and incorporates the latest information from the district and county. More can be found on the Surrey County Council’s Cost of Living page. They also operate a Community Help Line 0300 200 1008, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

“Lastly, we are finalising details of locations for our Warm Hubs - places where you can just pop in, get warm and meet others. Fairfield Centre in Leatherhead, Harvest Community Church in Dorking and Dorking Libraryare already welcoming visitors and we are hoping to add more venues to the list. You can find the latest information on our website molevalley.gov.uk/warmhubs.

So, if you are struggling in the current climate, please remember – you are not alone, and we are here to help. Just get in touch.”


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