Essential item shortages hit south London – ONS

Around one in six adults in Britain have been unable to buy essential food items in the last fortnight, figures suggest.

Some 17% of adults said they had not been able to purchase such goods because they were not available, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Almost a quarter (23%) said the same for non-essential food items.

The ONS analysed responses from 3,326 adults between September 22 and October 3 as part of its Opinions and Lifestyle survey.

It asked about people’s experiences of shortages over the past fortnight.

Overall, 57% said everything they needed had been available to buy.

One in seven (15%) could not buy fuel.

This Is Local London: Fights have broken out at fuel pumps in south London due to the recent shortages - PAFights have broken out at fuel pumps in south London due to the recent shortages – PA

Six in 10 respondents said their food shopping experience had been different to usual – 43% said there was less variety, and 14% had to go to more shops to get what they needed.

A fifth said items they needed were not available but they could find a replacement, with a further fifth saying they could not find a replacement.

Adults also reported waiting longer for prescriptions (13%) or having to go to more pharmacies to find what they needed (4%).

It comes as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News “we’re right at the tail end” of the situation with fuel supply pressures.

He said in “most parts of the country” problems have ended, and that London and the South East are the only two areas “where we’re seeing any continued problems”.

He added that around 3,500 people have applied for provisional HGV licences in the past week.

Meanwhile, footballer Marcus Rashford said some of the food banks he works with have been experiencing shortages.

He told BBC Breakfast: “They’re struggling to do what they love doing because there’s a shortage of food and of course it’s something that we’re going to have to find an answer to, and quickly as well because you know people are out there and they need the meals and especially going into winter.”

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