Craven District Council has approved plans to support two crucial schemes to help struggling local communities cope this winter as the cost-of-living crisis worsens.
Members unanimously approved plans for £30,000 to be added to the Ward Member Grants scheme at Craven District Council’s Policy Committee Meeting on Tuesday evening (October 4th) enabling key community venues across the district to provide warm hubs for people struggling to heat their homes. The go-ahead was also given for a grant of £3,000 to SELFA – a Skipton-based charity supporting children and young people – who will provide 100 meals and 20 food parcels each week during December, January and February to local families in need.
The UK is currently facing a cost-of-living crisis as the price for many essential goods and services are increasing faster than household income, resulting in a fall in real income. While all households are affected by rising prices, the impact is most severe in lower income households who are already spending a greater proportion of their income on essentials such as food and fuel.
Although plans are in their initial stages, Craven’s warm welcoming places initiative will see community centres, libraries and church halls across the rural district sign up to offer households simply somewhere comfortable and warm to share with others.
Craven District Council’s lead member for resilient communities, Cllr Robert Ogden said: “There are a lot of people in this district who are really really struggling. But there are some things we can do as a district council to try and mitigate some of the worst side effects of this cost-of-living crisis. It is devastating that we have to do something like this, but it is reassuring that we have before us a policy where we are able to do something about this problem and we are committed to doing all we can to help.”
“Rising energy prices are putting real pressure on families so having community warm places in Craven is something to help during a very challenging time. Anyone who wants to is welcome to come inside to be warm and comfortable in a friendly environment. These are very worrying times for many people and we hope the warm places can help to ease some of the pressures our communities are feeling.”
Local communities are already talking about how they can support people in their towns and villages who might struggle to keep warm this winter. Council officials want to support these trusted local partners in order to create a network of Warm Welcoming Places.
Cllr Ogden added: “Our communities showed how caring and resilient they were during the pandemic and we will build on the strong relationships developed through the pandemic to once again support communities through this new challenge. We want to hear from organisations that are already providing Warm and Welcoming Places as well as those organisations where they would like to offer more but need some financial help to do so. To be included in the scheme, organisations will need to show that they can provide a safe warm and welcoming place and that they are happy for their details to be shared in an online directory held on the Council’s website so people know where they can access the warm zones.”
For more details about the warm hubs initiative, please visit their website here