Agenda item

Support provided by the Council to Residents in respect of the cost of living


The Chief Executive Officer presented a report on the cost of living support that was provided to residents by the Council. It was noted that the report outlined all the initiatives that the Council was providing to residents in relation to the cost of living support. The report highlighted what financial support was made available by the Council for residents impacted by the cost of living crisis and how the support provided by the Council was communicated to eligible residents.


It was noted that residents could access information and support not only via various webpages on the Council’s website but also through a hard copy leaflet, replicated in the agenda pack, which signposted residents to the various services available. It was highlighted that a number of initiatives would be taking place over the next weeks and months, such as Christmas support digital advent calendar that provided cost of living tips for residents and the cost of living bulletin that provided useful updates on the support available.


Members welcomed the detailed report and expressed appreciation that much work in this area was being undertaken jointly with other organisations, including the community and voluntary sector. It was noted that the cost of living leaflets provided a very good resource for residents and were being distributed by Members in the community.


Members were asked to inform Officers if they were aware of any warm space or had set one up so that residents could be signposted to these spaces. Officers commented that there would be monthly updates to the leaflets and regular updates were in place on the Council’s webpages so that up-to-date information was available.


The Chairman commented that one aspect that was not included in the report related to financial support for insulation of private sector properties in the Borough, as it was reported that there were 3,500 poorly insulated properties across Worcestershire. In light of this, the following recommendation was proposed:


‘that the Overview and Scrutiny asks the Executive Committee to actively seek external grant funding to enable a borough-wide campaign to subsidise the insulation of poorly insulated dwellings in the private sector’.


A discussion on the proposed recommendation followed and Members largely spoke in support of the motion, with some Members highlighting that the Council was already proactive in this area, for example with loft insulation works being undertaken at Council properties over the last few years.


Some Members commented that it was unlikely the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) or the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) would be in a position to offer grant funding support at present, but that it might be obtained from the wider health system, such as the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Integrated Care System (ICS), as lack of proper insulation was a wider determinants of health issue. Officers added that Council had received grant funding for energy efficiency improvements and further opportunities would be sought through Act on Energy, the organisation appointed as the Council’s official Energy Advice Service in June 2022, and which provided energy support services for residents. With regards to Council properties, it was highlighted that an insulation programme was ongoing to undertake insultation improvements to the small number of social housing properties which were not covered by the similar insulation initiatives in previous years.


On being put to the vote this recommendation was carried.




that the Executive Committee actively seek external grant funding to enable a borough-wide campaign to subsidise the insulation of poorly insulated dwellings in the private sector.

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