West Lothian Council agrees £8 million community funding package
£8 million of community funding in West Lothian has been agreed following Council Executive approval.
Projects such as a reduction in school meal prices, business and voluntary sector support, community sports and libraries and projects to mitigate child poverty will all see extra investment.
The funding is as a result of Scottish Government Covid-19 funding that was allocated to West Lothian Council in March this year, but after the council’s budget was already agreed.
This, combined with other areas of council funding, means that the council is able to fund an additional £8m of projects for local people.
Much of the additional funding is linked to the council’s Anti-Poverty Service and all of the funding will aim to support those most in need.
The Council Executive has now agreed where to allocate the remaining one-off funding which is covered under a number of programmes: £261,000 to help reduce fuel poverty; £293,000 to help mitigate child poverty; £63,000 to extend MacMillan Cancer Support Hubs by 18 months to provide support and advice on financial matters; Additional business and voluntary sector support; Funding to enable the council to reduce school meal fees for the next two years by 10 per cent; and recruitment of care and care at home staff
It was also pay for: Local business support; Supporting health and wellbeing of children and adults; Mitigating the effects of child poverty; Investment in community sports and libraries; and e nvironmental projects
West Lothian Council leader Lawrence Fitzpatrick said: “ I’m delighted that this significant amount of funding will go towards important projects and pieces of work. This is about helping the most vulnerable people within West Lothian, many of whom have experienced significant hardship throughout the pandemic.
“The pandemic has reached all areas of society and the funding agreed will therefore reflect that diverse range of services and areas of work.
“In particular, support for young people and their families, including health and wellbeing support and help with school meals, is particularly important, as is financial aid for our voluntary sector – who do amazing work across West Lothian.”