In recent weeks, the Council has highlighted concerns at its financial position. Last year I was the Havering MP who arranged and led the successful council delegation - that included RA Leader, Ray Morgon - to see Local Government Minister, Lee Rowley. As a result, we secured money for the council that led to an increase in their grant funding and their overall core spending power.
That dealt with the immediate cost pressures Havering faced. But I have also long campaigned for a change to the way in which Outer London's population needs are worked out so that Havering gets the right support. The borough has twin cost pressures from the growing number of older people and children with care needs that it serves. This is why I am already working with the Council on its future financial position and have again led a delegation to present their case directly to the Local Government Minister. The Minister has instructed officials within his department to continue to engage with Havering and I will provide any support I can within these discussions.
Supporting families with the cost of living is an absolute priority for the Government, especially as we move into the winter months, and 10,700 households in Hornchurch & Upminster will receive £300 of direct support via their second Cost of Living payment between 31 October and 19 November. We have also launched the Great British Insulation Scheme to help over 300,000 families reduce energy bills through energy efficiency upgrades. Alongside this, we continue in our efforts to halve inflation by the end of the year as the best way to help everyone with the cost of living.
Working in partnership with our local Job Centre I hosted in September another Jobs, Apprenticeships and Skills Fair – our first in Harold Hill. The event was a great success with 5 job offers being made on the day with a further 15 interviews scheduled. Since then, I am advised that that a further 22 job offers and 56 offers for training have been made and that over 150 people have received specific advice on vacant roles. My office is already planning our next event while we continue to receive news on positive outcomes for attendees.