In order to support those who are struggling the most through the cost of living crisis, Oadby and Wigston Borough Council is committing itself to a comprehensive programme of financial support.
During the Full Council Meeting yesterday, councillors agreed to allocate a further £110,000 to critical support schemes that will be made available to people in the borough. They include:
- Added £50,000 to the council’s Discretionary Housing Payment Fund and £5,000 to the Discretionary Council Tax Support fund.
- Grants of up to £500 being offered to community groups that are establishing warm spaces.
- £10,000 being set aside to support partners that are struggling to get by with increased demand.
- Making all council car parks free to use on all weekends in December, supporting local businesses.
The council has already confirmed that it is seeing a higher-than-usual number of requests for financial support and it anticipates this to only increase through the winter, with frontline staff being trained to strengthen their skillset and give them the ability to support those who are facing severe financial challenges.
A Financial Inclusion Officer is also being employed by the council, with their role enabling them to support customers who are financially vulnerable through providing assistance in claiming benefits that they’re entitled to and identifying anywhere else they might need support.
Councillor John Boyce, Leader of Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, 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 off their own as a result of inflation, we are here to serve local people and we know form 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 throughout 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.”