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Coronavirus: Haringey Council sets up £8.1m emergency fund from government pot

PUBLISHED: 16:55 16 April 2020 | UPDATED: 17:55 16 April 2020

Haringey Civic Centre. Picture: Ken Mears

Haringey Civic Centre. Picture: Ken Mears

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Haringey Council has set up an £8.1m emergency fund from government finance to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

The fund includes £100,000 to ensure food supplies are available for all residents for the next three months, alongside food donations from individuals, businesses and charities.

Supply hubs have been set up at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Alexandra Palace, from where hundreds of donation parcels are being delivered.

Full-time home carers will receive bonuses of £1,000 during April, May and June.

Schools will be given funds to provide food for children who usually receive free school meals before a new government meal scheme is rolled out.

Food parcels are being distributed from Alexandra Palace. Picture; Haringey CouncilFood parcels are being distributed from Alexandra Palace. Picture; Haringey Council

Joseph Ejiofor, Haringey Council leader, said: “We know the coronavirus outbreak is having a real impact on the lives of some of our most vulnerable residents.

“That is why we are introducing extra measures to provide vital assistance, including for those in food poverty.

“By covering shortfalls in free school meals until the government scheme is up and running, and food aid for our community for the next three months, we hope we can reduce some of the pressure for families.”

Residents on the council tax reduction scheme will have their bills cut by £150, with those owing less than £150 after receiving support not having to pay anything.

Haringey Council leader, Joseph Ejiofor, says the emergency fund will help the most vulnerable. Picture: Harry TaylorHaringey Council leader, Joseph Ejiofor, says the emergency fund will help the most vulnerable. Picture: Harry Taylor

Many businesses will not have to pay rates during the current financial year, while government grants will be paid out to small firms and those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

And the local authority will provide a rent holiday of up to three months for voluntary sector organisations operating from council-owned buildings.

Liz Morris, Haringey Liberal Democrats leader, said: “The council will be judged on getting support to those who need it most.

“As long as the council takes swift positive action, where it is needed, they will have my support.

“It is already clear that the government will need to provide Haringey with a lot more financial support to cope with the immediate and lasting impact of this crisis.”

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