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Westminster City Council declares a cost-of-living emergency

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Cllr Adam Hug, Leader of Westminster Council visiting a food hub

Published: 21 September 2022

At a meeting of Full Council on 21st September, Westminster City Councillors approved a motion to declare a Cost-of-Living Emergency, stating that the scale of the challenge needs “urgent and substantial action” from the Council, Government and others with the ability to help.

In addition, Councillors resolved to deliver a robust approach to support our communities, particularly the most vulnerable through the autumn and winter, including:

  • Identifying further resources within the council that can support the delivery of the Cost-of Living-Strategy
  • Working with partners to deliver a network of warm places that provide opportunities for activities and engagement as well as heat
  • Finding suitable opportunities for Westminster Connects and local volunteers to help people access support
  • Engaging further with major business and institutional stakeholders to work with us to find further ways to assist those most in need

Westminster City Council has already announced a £5.6m local package, as part of a comprehensive Cost of Living Strategy, to support vulnerable residents as the council believes around a quarter of Westminster households (31,000) face a living standards crisis due to rising costs of energy bills and food.

Additional support for vulnerable residents this winter that was announced this week includes a network of welcoming places, which will provide opportunities for activities as well as a warm space, called Winter in the City. This handy directory is available via the dedicated Cost of Living Support Hub on the council’s website. This resource also signposts residents to available support to change their energy tariff; get advice on dealing with debt; and help residents find their nearest food bank.

The full text of the Council motion can be found here.

Councillor Adam Hug, Leader of Westminster City Council, said:

We know that many residents are fearing the prospect of opening their energy bills this winter, despite the recent announcements of support, and the rising cost of everyday essentials is only making things tougher.

What is needed is urgent and substantial action not only from us, but also from central Government and every organisation with the ability to help. We need everyone to be doing everything they can to support our communities and we at Westminster will be particularly focused on those who are most vulnerable, whilst also trying to help all our residents wherever we can.

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