THOUSANDS of people in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area are still waiting for their £150 Government payments to help with rising living costs.

Many of the delays have been attributed to more than half of residents not signing up to direct debit payments for their council tax.

Councillors were told that those using direct debits have, mostly, already been paid the money, but others are having to apply.

Cllr Jackie Edwards says that has hit many hard, especially those who are elderly and frail and who cannot use a computer or get to a library to get help from council staff.

“Not everyone can get to a library easily – how are we going to help them get this money?” she said.

Chief finance officer Adam Richens said that making payments, on behalf of the Government, to around 100,000 homes in the area, had been ‘a significant challenge’, although around 70 per cent had now received it.

He said the council had currently paid out around £15.5m to lower council tax band homes and was encouraging those who could help people who had not already claimed to do so. He admitted that the task would have been easier had more people been using direct debits for their council tax payments.