Chorley Council Leader Alistair Bradley demands further government support to help with the Cost of Living Crisis faced by residents across Lancashire.
Chorley Council has been dedicated to supporting all of our residents. Delivering projects that have allowed thousands of families, children, older people, and those in and out of work to get the vital help they need through the current cost of living crisis that followed the chaotic Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng budget last year.
While we have been out knocking on residents’ doors over the past few weeks, the people of Chorley have been making it clear to us that they are increasingly struggling with the ever-rising cost of food, energy and household essentials with minimal help from the Tory government down in Westminster.
At the same time, whilst the cost of living crisis has put undue pressure on all of us and while it’s something we hoped we would never need to do, I am also proud of the efforts of Labour administrations like Chorley Council and many Community Groups and volunteers have put in place to support people.
We are seeing people who may never have had struggles like this before, coming to us for help, as a council we are here for everyone. We will continue to work with partner organisations to make sure that people can get through the challenges, which will no doubt be with us for some time.
Over recent months our own Council here in Chorley has helped to deliver many projects including
- The council’s Christmas Toy Appeal supported 191 families with 301 children provided with several great toys each.
- The Holiday Activity and Food Programme (HAF) allowed nearly 1,000 children to take part in free holiday activities with a free lunch provided.
- Play days took where nearly 700 children and families from across our borough took part in baking, music, gym, craft, sports, and games and again were given a free lunch.
- The council is also facilitating the delivery of money management workshops in schools. We are delighted that over 16 schools have taken part in the workshops and more schools are planned to come on board.
- Over the winter over 40 designated ‘Warm Spaces’ were funded by the council across the borough to support those struggling with energy costs and allowed for people to come along to a friendly space and meet new people – helping to tackle social isolation.
- Emergency food provision continues, and food is available every day across our community partners so those in emergency need can receive support.
- Our Household Support fund has been used to assist over 4,000 households to support even more residents with help around energy, food, and essential items.
- Many residents were supported through the Affordable Warmth Grant which provides help to make properties more energy efficient – through providing help with issues with heating, boilers, and window glazing.
While there is still lots to be done to continue to support our residents, it is heartening to see the great work done by our Council staff, community groups, partner organisations and volunteers who do such incredible work on the ground to help those who need it.
In contrast, I believe that the government, led by Mr Sunak, should be making some urgent decisions to immediately reverse the ongoing cuts. Put its hand in its pocket to properly fund the work required, rather than keep trying to make cuts and underfund infrastructure in our towns and villages.
Residents voted for us at the election because they know we are on their side in tough times. The local election results both here in Chorley and across Lancashire demonstrate that the people recognise that this government are selling the country short.
We are already planning for the coming months and even into next winter to deliver more energy-saving support, food provision, support with housing, debt and money advice and support for well-being and mental health. We need the government need to step up to the plate and have a plan to assist us here on the ground in Lancashire.