A new city-wide Cost of Living Plan that aims to increase the support available to Plymouth residents in dealing with the ongoing cost of living crisis has been launched by the City Council.
The new plan recognises that addressing the challenge to the city has to be a team effort and has been created in partnership with local organisations and charities that work directly with people most affected by the crisis.
The plan sets out how the Council and partners will support residents and brings together activity going on across Plymouth that will help local people, with five key themes:
- Offers and discounts: Promoting all the free and low-cost things there are to do in Plymouth
- Making the money go further: helping people to access financial advice and claiming the benefits they’re entitled to, support for people to find and remain in work and ways to save money.
- Crisis support: Providing urgent support for people in crisis, including those at risk of homelessness or who need emergency food aid
- Asks of Government: Lobbying the Government for support with new initiatives in Plymouth and for changes to existing policy
- Longer term plans: Activity that will benefit local residents in the future, including investment, funding and business support.
Councillor Sue Dann, Cabinet Member with responsibility for the Cost of Living Plan, said: “The ongoing cost of living crisis is having a huge impact in Plymouth. More people than ever before are needing crisis support and living in temporary accommodation, with many more finding themselves struggling to get by with the increase in rents and mortgages, food and energy prices.
“When we were elected to lead the Council in May, we pledged to make the cost of living an absolute priority and have been working alongside our partners over the summer to produce this new plan, which I’m proud to be launching today.
“However, we’ve not been resting on our laurels and have been working hard to support residents throughout the summer. This has included cancelling plans for charges at Mount Wise swimming pools to keep them free for all, and coordinating and promoting an amazing range of free activities and events, helping families to have fun without impacting their budgets.”
Throughout the coming months, the Council will be working closely with partners to provide support and advice to residents. This will include: working directly with employers to showcase how they can support their employees; running campaigns to encourage people to check they’re claiming the benefits they are entitled to; providing free skills support to help people back into work or to get better jobs; and facilitating and promoting the opening of warm, welcoming spaces in the cold winter months.
Councillor Dann continued: “Our plan is going to be dynamic, we are not standing still and will continue to work alongside our amazing partners to seek new opportunities to support local residents throughout the coming year.
“We may not be able to change the economic conditions that have led to this cost of living crisis, but together, across our city, we can support each other through it.”
Emma Handley, CEO of Citizens Advice Plymouth said: “In the past year, the rising living costs have pushed more people into the financial crisis and seeking help from foodbanks and other charitable support. Since January, Citizens Advice Plymouth has helped over 2,600 Plymouth residents to address issues related to increased living costs. The cost of living crisis is not affecting everyone equally and impacts the most vulnerable in multiple ways. Therefore, we welcome the Council’s initiative of the joined-up approach that will bring many benefits to the local residents. We encourage anyone, who doesn't have enough money to live on, to seek advice. There are lots of options for support across the city.”
View the new Cost of Living plan.