Extra cost-of-living funding welcomed but it could be “a drop in the ocean”
Cherwell ring-fences £100,000 for the coming winter but one Councillor warns its not enough to address the problem
An extra £100,000 is being ring-fenced to help those suffering from the cost-of-living crisis locally this winter.
Last night Cherwell District Council’s Executive approved an action plan which focuses on supporting those in need through the coming months.
The report to Councillors was produced following a motion proposed by Labour Councillor Sean Woodcock in July.
The extra money will be used in five areas, including focuses on keeping people well, providing advice to those in financial hardship and expanding the options to help keep people warm through the cold weather.
Work will also be undertaken to reduce people’s dependency on foodbanks, offering opportunities to utilise growing spaces, to share food and reduce food waste.
Emergency financial assistance to alleviate a crisis and opportunities to grow household income over the longer term also form part of the plan.
Conservative Councillor Phil Chapman told the meeting the plan builds on what the Council has achieved in the past. He said: “I’ve been very keen that we learn from everything that we’ve done over the last 18 months to make a very difficult situation a little bit better this winter.”
But whilst he’s pleased with the extra money to address the problem, Councillor Sean Woodcock was fearful it wasn’t enough.
He said: “One in five people in Cherwell are now forced to ration essentials to pay the bills. A third say they are in financial difficulty and one in eight can’t afford to eat as healthily as they would like. That is the reality of what life is like under this government.
“I’m grateful for the fact that £100,000 is being put into this action plan. It’s a significant contribution from this Council, particularly in light of the medium-term financial outlook that is being faced.
“I’m worried it could be a drop in the ocean.”
Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam