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Preston residents urged to access Cost of Living information hub

Posted on - 21st October, 2022 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Fylde News, People, Politics, Preston News, Ribble Valley News, South Ribble News, Wyre News
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A new council hub will offer residents financial, benefits and energy support as part of an ongoing initiative that targets the cost of living crisis.

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Lancashire County Council’s information hub can be accessed via its website and contains categories that include benefits and financial help, help with energy, and support in the district. It includes details of Lancashire’s ‘Warm and Welcome Places’ scheme, one of several measures approved by the cabinet to support residents over autumn and winter.

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The council has invited residents to its 64 libraries, where they can shelter and get information and advice from trained staff. The libraries have disabled access and will offer warm drinks – with the council developing a scheme allowing groups across the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sectors and parish and town councils to access funds to make ‘warm hubs’.

Read more: Lancashire County Council calls for clarity on local fracking consent

Cllr Michael Green, the cabinet member for health and well-being, said: “Many residents are already struggling and are understandably concerned about the months ahead. There is lots of support out there, including significant assistance from the government to reduce bills, and we want to maximise the uptake of these initiatives.

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“Lancashire County Council has strengthened a number of initiatives with a £2m package of support for local people in this challenging time. Residents sometimes struggle to access support, so we have launched our new hub, which makes it easier for people to find the help they need.

“It also signposts customers to their nearest library, which can offer a warm and welcoming space for anyone who wants to come along. We know we cannot solve all the problems, but we will continue working with partners to ensure we do as much as possible to support our residents.”

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Initially, £72,000 will be available, which will be reviewed based on the number of applications. In addition, the cabinet has agreed to double the county council’s usual allocation to the affordable warmth scheme to £1m.

Working with Cosy Homes in Lancashire, the scheme provides access to home energy support, such as boiler and insulation measures. Lancashire County Council commissioned the project and delivered it through district councils.

The cabinet has also agreed to allocate £180,000 for community food projects in Lancashire and to release £896,000 from existing budgets and relevant grants to bolster initiatives that provide support to people in Lancashire.

It will support schemes to provide specialist debt advice, essential household goods and assistance to pensioners and other residents to take up the benefits to which they are entitled.

Read more: Lancashire County Council to agree £900k support for households this winter

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, the director of public health at Lancashire County Council, said: “Protecting the health and well-being of our residents this autumn and winter is a key priority for the council. While national policies remain central to supporting our residents and businesses, it is important that we take steps locally.

“This is an evolving situation, so we will continue to monitor things and adapt our strategy where necessary. I would also encourage everyone, particularly those with an existing health condition, to stay up to date with their Covid-19 and flu vaccinations.”

For more information, visit – https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/cost-of-living/



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