Council pledges to do all it can on Cost of Living

Released: Wednesday, 05 October 2022

A programme of help for Adur households during the cost of living crisis is set to include help on food, early intervention on household debt, warm shelters and a large-scale awareness campaign on support available.

A Cost of Living Roadmap drawn up by Adur District Council sets out how it and other agencies will work together to provide the most support possible to those in the area who are battling just to get by.

The Council will commit funds to the new approach, which is designed to help support households to get the benefits they are entitled to, to help community groups to help those most in need and to provide more assistance to those on the lowest incomes.

The initiatives in the roadmap have been developed with partners from the voluntary and community sector, West Sussex County Council and health organisations, to try to mitigate the impact of the cost of living crisis for those in Adur. Although the Council is co-ordinating the plan, its main role is helping residents get the support they need from the partners.

Among the initiatives are:

  • Funding from Adur & Worthing Councils to support emergency food distribution, including an initial £25,000 to help food banks
  • Developing a food poverty action plan, which includes encouraging businesses to provide meals to food banks and reducing food waste
  • Identifying with partners 'warm spaces' where residents unable to pay for heating can go to short-term shelter from the winter cold
  • Holding 'pop up' community information events to make sure people know how to access cost of living support

The Council is providing £10,000 grant funding for voluntary and charitable organisations to support them to open their doors and be somewhere warm for residents to go if they need to.

It is also looking to extend its Proactive scheme to give financial support to residents and to offer grants to make homes more energy efficient. The scheme involves a Council team making early identification of households drifting into financial trouble many of whom are often unaware of the help or benefits that are available to them

Council data collected by Proactive in July suggests that more than 1,910 households in Adur were defined as living in fuel poverty. This means that their homes are not energy efficient and that heating them leaves them below the government's poverty line.

More than 3,622 households were in water poverty (meaning their homes cannot be supplied with water or sewage pipes at a reasonable cost) and 361 were living in food poverty (meaning they cannot afford food to make up a healthy diet). The number of families whose income no longer even covers the cost of their accommodation was also increasing.

However the impact of inflation on households since then has meant that the true number of people in dire need of help is likely to be far greater - and will only get worse as fuel prices rise even further.

Cllr Kevin Boram, Adur's Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing, said:

“As a Council we are aware of the large numbers of people in our community who are facing very tough times through acute cost of living price increases and we will do all we can to help mitigate and support them.

“Obviously the levers we as a district council have to affect large scale differences are limited and we have seen central government intervention on this with energy price caps and other measures on tax and national insurance on that front.

“However there is still much we can and will do, working with our partners and the community to help ensure as much practical support and important information gets out to those who need it. We will be working tirelessly to ensure we do all we can to help people through this difficult period.”

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(PR22-188)

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Page last updated: 29 November 2022

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