An additional £1million has been agreed by councillors to tackle poverty and support families and households under pressure from the cost-of-living crisis.
At the Leadership Board on Wednesday 26 April, councillors agreed to allocate funding into a range of projects, including dedicated advice services for families, continuing extra support for welfare rights advice, and energy advice and support.
This money is in addition to more than £5million invested in Renfrewshire Council’s Tackling Poverty programme that will be spent on initiatives that are proven to best support families and households struggling with their finances.
Tackling Poverty is part of the council’s Fairer Renfrewshire programme that aims to tackle inequalities, the cost-of-living crisis, and financial and food insecurity.
Council Leader Iain Nicolson said that ensuring people can get advice is the most important thing to help families manage current cost of living pressures and prevent people going into debt.
He said: “While there are some signs the economy may soon start to improve, the situation for many households is still extremely challenging. One of my administration’s priorities is supporting our communities through this cost-of-living crisis and we allocated funds in our recent council budget for this. On top of the current pressures, everyday items have become far more expensive, and families and households are also still dealing with the impact of harm from the pandemic on their livelihoods and savings.
“We want to make sure that everyone, whoever needs it, can access sound advice. Advisers at Renfrewshire Citizen’s Advice Bureau and the council’s Advice Works teams can look at where money is being spent and look at alternative options to save money and ensure anyone who is entitled to benefits or financial support is getting it. Every extra penny counts and even saving a little bit of money or making sure you’re getting all the financial support available can make a big difference.”
Initiatives like Cost of the School Day and practical support for families are also being funded.
The Winter Connections initiative, where community groups put on events and activities to reduce isolation and improve health and wellbeing, also helped direct people to get help and support as needed.
Anyone looking for money advice and support can contact Renfrewshire Citizen’s Advice Bureau on 0141 889 2121 and the council’s advice works team on email@example.com or 0300 300 1238.
Advice on energy bills is available through the council’s energy advocacy team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0300 300 0300.
Additional help and support is available from www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/cost-of-living