Bassetlaw District Council has allocated £160,000 to projects to provide additional support to our communities through the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, as part of its early preparations for a potentially difficult winter.
The funding comes after the Council hosted a meeting with 20 partner organisations across Bassetlaw to prepare for the impacts of the rising cost of living on residents over the coming autumn and winter months.
The information provided by a range of agencies painted a stark picture of the issues that some residents are likely to face in the coming months. An example of this is the unprecedented demand for the services of Citizens Advice Bassetlaw which has seen its workload increase from being ‘average’ across the Citizens Advice network to now being in the top five nationally.
Some of the key issues being raised by service users include debt, benefits advice, energy, housing and employment, with the worst-affected age groups being working-age people who have been hit hard by rising mortgage and rent costs. The fact that these groups are in deficit ahead of the winter is particularly worrying to the Council and its partners, and suggests that it could be a difficult winter for many.
To help support and build the resilience of the community and voluntary sector which often acts as the first point of contact for those in need, ahead of the winter, Bassetlaw District Council is allocating:
Citizens Advice Bassetlaw – Welfare Benefits Caseworker costs - £67,206
Citizens Advice Bassetlaw – Housing Caseworker costs - £28,433
Food Bank Community Shop – Staffing and fruit and vegetables - £41,500
Warm Packs - £10,000
Warm Spaces - £5,000
Co-ordinated Communications - £8,750
Karen Whitlam, Chief Executive Officer for Citizens Advice Bassetlaw, said:
“The financial assistance from the Council has helped us to deal with unprecedented demand for help from local people. It is only by working together that we can continue to provide support to those most in need as the pressures of the rising cost of living continue.”
Lynn Tupling, Chief Executive of Bassetlaw Action Centre, said: “The warm packs were a significant help to the elderly and vulnerable last winter who were faced with the dilemma of ‘heating or eating’. The funding for the packs from Bassetlaw District Council made this possible and we welcome the support being provided for the 2023/24 winter”.
The Council and its partners will continue to watch trends in Bassetlaw and seek to react wherever possible, but is seeking to put firm foundations in place now.
Councillor Lynne Schuller, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Bassetlaw District Council, said:
“The rising cost of living is not just putting a significant financial pressure on Bassetlaw residents; it is also a public health crisis as these pressures are sadly not going away.
“We have already taken significant steps to protect the most vulnerable groups within our area, and our sincere hope is that the latest allocation of funding will help those who experience difficulties in the next few months, including people who probably never expected that they would need help.
“As a District Council, we are grateful for the support of a network of partners who are dealing with many of the frontline challenges, and we will continue to work together to prepare for the challenges that the autumn and winter will bring.”
Last Updated on Thursday, August 31, 2023