Published: Wednesday, 16 November 2022
Oadby & Wigston Borough Council (OWBC) is committing to an extensive and comprehensive financial programme offering support to those struggling the most with the cost of living crisis.
At its Full Council meeting on Tuesday 15 November, borough councillors agreed to distribute a further £110,000 into critical support schemes available to those in the borough.
- Topping up the council’s Discretionary Housing Payment Fund by £50,000 and its own Discretionary Council Tax Support Fund by £5,000
- Offering grants of up to £500 to community groups setting up warm spaces
- Setting aside £10,000 to support third sector partners struggling to cope with increased demand
- On all weekends in December, council car parks will be free of charge to support businesses.
OWBC is already seeing higher-than-usual requests for financial support and expects this to increase during the winter months. Front-line staff are receiving extra training to strengthen their skills when supporting those facing severe financial challenges.
The council also employs a dedicated Financial Inclusion Officer whose role is to support financially vulnerable customers, help them claim any benefits they are eligible for, and identify any other support they may need.
People, businesses and organisations in the borough can find a wealth of information about support available to them on the council’s dedicated webpage at www.oadby-wigston.gov.uk/costofliving
Councillor John Boyce, Leader of OWBC, said: “We understand the challenges local people are facing, especially among those that are already vulnerable, and it was clear we needed to find a way to bolster our support. We strongly believe that the support package we have created is wide ranging and will achieve this.
“While councils are facing financial challenges of their own as a result of inflation, we are here to serve local people and we know from the conversations we’re already having that this extended financial help is going to be needed.
“We also know there are lots of excellent community groups in the area that want to do more and our Warm Spaces Fund will offer support to them.
"Our decision to offer free car parking on weekends through December will support our businesses and encourages residents to shop local.
“Our message is clear – we want to help those that are struggling the most and as a council we are punching above our weight in offering a support package of this size.”