Council to consider extra help for residents on the cost of living crisis

Receipt, marked "cost of living"

Worcester City Council is set to consider taking extra steps to help local residents cope with the cost of living crisis.

Rising energy prices and food bills are affecting everyone, but it is vulnerable low-income families which are being hit hardest by the situation.

In July this year, the Council declared a cost of living crisis and is now working with other organisations to provide greater support for those in most need.

Among the measures being considered is funding for Worcester Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB) to enable it to help more people.

A report to next month's Policy and Resources Committee recommends that councillors back a move to give £20,000 to the CAB. The cash would allow the service to employ an extra supervisor, which in turn means that ten additional volunteers can be recruited and trained to provide more debt assessments – as well as enabling the CAB to open for an extra morning of drop-in sessions each week.

Other moves the committee will be asked to back are to extend the period of time that eligible households can claim the four weeks of school meals vouchers to which they were entitled between July and September this year, as some families did not claim them. There is around £50,000 of the allocation still to be given out and it is proposed that the scheme be extended until the end of September, with eligible households being encouraged to claim back the costs that they may have faced over the summer holidays.

Councillors will also be asked to agree that funding be put in place to provide more school meals during school holidays up to March 2023, if no other provision is in place.

Councillor Lynn Denham, Vice Chair of the Policy and Resources Committee, said: "These are difficult times for so many people and these important proposals will make a significant difference to households in the greatest need. I hope the committee will back these measures." 

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