Cost of Living Emergency Programme report approved by cabinet


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In Summary

General | 11th October 2022
The city council has set out next steps in its plans to address the cost of living crisis for Birmingham residents and businesses, including a campaign highlighting where people can get help.

In Detail

This follows the ‘cost of living emergency’ declaration last month.

An initial allocation of £5m will be used from resilience reserve funds for priority action areas including:

  • Improving the availability of advice to residents, with a focus on increasing benefit take up
  • Increasing energy efficiency, with a focus on reducing costs
  • Increasing the supply of food through foodbanks across the city
  • Ensuring the provision of a network of warm spaces across the city, starting with libraries
  • Supporting council staff.

The city council will also be running a campaign, working with all our partners including community groups and charities, to let people know what support is available across the city.

Cllr John Cotton, cabinet member for social justice, community safety and equalities, said: "Birmingham has over 300,000 residents already living in poverty, with many more highly exposed to the crisis. Even after the Government’s announcement on energy prices, energy bills will still double compared to last year. The situation remains extremely serious.

“Added to high levels of deprivation there is a high density of poorly insulated homes across the housing market. Of the top 13 constituencies in the country for fuel poverty, six of them are within Birmingham.

"Earlier this year, we topped up the Government’s Household Support Fund by a further £1.3 million to help families and older people who were struggling with the cost of living. This undoubtedly helped people, but we know that more support is needed to help people this winter."

Leader of the city council Cllr Ian Ward said: “As I said when I declared a ‘Cost of Living Emergency’, every person in every part of this city will be affected in some way or another. While we have already taken pro-active steps to support our communities with the cost of living, the negative effects of this crisis will be with us for some time and it therefore requires a pandemic-level response. I have also written to the prime minister, on behalf of a coalition of leaders across the city, asking government to work with the city and back our proposals to help ease the effects of the crisis.”

The Cost of Living Emergency Programme report was approved by the city council's cabinet today.