CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council’s Cabinet is meeting to discuss the cost-of-living crisis and set out plans to support its residents during the months ahead.
Helping people deal with the soaring cost of living has been at the forefront of the council’s work over the past year.
A dedicated team of Hwb advisers has been set up to help customers, who have concerns about their finances or need help accessing benefits, to apply for support, services and money that they are entitled to.
Since April of this year, the HWB advisers have had over 400 applications for advice and support from Carmarthenshire residents and have helped with applications for a range of council and third-party support schemes, including Blue Badges for disabled parking, Council Tax discounts, Personal Independence Payments and grants to help parents purchase school essentials, such as school uniforms.
The council has made payments of £150 to 58,263 households to date, through the Welsh Government’s Cost of Living Support Scheme.
It has also received £1.556 million from the Welsh Government’s Discretionary Cost of Living Support Scheme and the Cabinet will meet to decide on how this money will be spent to provide further support to the residents who are most in need across the county. Recommendations include, tackling poverty in rural communities, supporting further 3rd party initiatives and further support for vulnerable groups.
It will also finalise plans to hold a cost-of-living collaboration event at Y Ffwrnes in Llanelli where local partners and stakeholders will be invited along to share information and best practice so it can work towards providing a truly multi-agency support package for vulnerable households in Carmarthenshire.
Speaking ahead of the Cabinet meeting, Deputy Leader and Cabinet lead Cllr. Linda Evans said:
“With household bills continuing to rise, we are all struggling with our finances and very concerned about how we are going to make ends meet.
“As an authority, we have moved quickly to help those most in need through our specialist HWB advisers and our Claim What’s Yours campaign. During the summer, we have drafted thorough plans to best deliver more financial support, through the Discretionary Cost of Living Support Scheme, to those most in need in our county.
“The council is doing all it can to co-ordinate and provide support where possible. In October, we will host a cost-of-living event bringing together a range of partner agencies to better understand what else can be done at a local level to support those being hit hardest by the cost-of-living crisis.”