Skip to main content

Living With Less campaign tackles cost of living crisis

4:01pm - 05 October 2022

North Lanarkshire Council has announced £8.6million of support to help residents battle the rising cost of living.

An eight-point cost of living action plan to help support residents has been launched as more people than ever face unprecedented financial hardship this winter. 

This includes more than £2.1m allocated to help people struggling with energy bills, and the council’s Tackling Poverty team will run Living with Less roadshows across the council area.  

The action plan includes £450,000 funding support for voluntary and community initiatives to provide an enhanced service at their existing social drop-in spaces for residents. These facilities will be backed up by welcome hubs at council-run premises such as libraries, community and leisure centres where people can drop by without stigma.

A Living with Less promotional campaign will run simultaneously, providing residents with realistic and practical advice on small changes we can all make to reduce costs spent on domestic energy, food and travel as well as signposting people to crisis grants and assistance with home budgeting.

The action plan announced at the Policy and Strategy Committee on Tuesday 4 October, runs from November until the end of March and is underpinned by the council’s long-standing ‘cash first’ approach which champions income maximisation as a longer-term solution over the stop gap of a single food parcel.

Councillor Jim Logue, Leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: “With spiralling energy costs, mortgage payments rising to frightening levels and the price of food and shopping essentials rocketing, the cost of living has become a national crisis.

“It is clear that policy must urgently change at a national level to turn around the drastic economic uncertainty facing ordinary people and I will be writing directly to the UK and Scottish Governments to appeal for more to be done to help families who are being hit hard by financial chaos.

“The council simply cannot do this alone but I am clear that this is our top priority. This eight-point action plan will see us working closely with partners and the third sector to help support those in the most desperate need in our communities.

“We will be paying £8.613 million to people through a range of sources to support low-income households but importantly, we take a dignified approach to tackling the food, energy and fuel crisis by providing a cash response where possible. By working with residents to maximise their income from benefits and signposting to other eligible payments and grants, we’re ensuring people have access to the financial support they are entitled to.

“We know that existing support is already available through third sector and community-run initiatives that have robust local knowledge and a network of operations to support people who need immediate help. This offer will be enhanced by some of our council facilities which will be available to provide similar relief.

“Sadly, this isn’t going to solve the problem but may provide some much-needed respite in a stigma-free environment.”

The action plan includes:

  • The release of £450,000 in grant funding for voluntary and community initiatives to enhance their existing drop-in spaces and premises across North Lanarkshire.
  • The availability of welcome hubs in existing council facilities such as libraries, community and leisure centres where residents can get tea/coffee where possible, recharge digital devices and get a heat and a chat in a stigma-free environment.
  • Taking a ‘cash first’ approach to tackling poverty by encouraging partners and third-sector organisations who provide emergency food to sign up to a ‘pledge’ to work with the Scottish Welfare Fund to access crisis grants as a first response (with food banks being the last port of call).
  • A Living with Less roadshow across the region with the council’s Tackling Poverty Team and partner agencies where people can apply for grants on site and access support for benefits checks, grant eligibility and debt advice.
  • Discussions around setting up a dedicated cost of living helpline in collaboration with the Health and Social Care Partnership to provide advice to residents in need.
  • Frontline council workers will be able to access local heat hubs in a range of council facilities such as schools, libraries, community centres and leisure centres, where they can get a tea/coffee and break from the cold outside. Other staff will also be able to work more locally to their home to reduce commuting costs or domestic heating rates for those who work at home.
  • The release of a £2.161m fuel hardship fund – a £150 payment to eligible low-income households – which can be applied for online. (Further payments of £125 Child Payment and £100 Pensioner Fuel Grant will be paid directly to those eligible).
  • A Living with Less digital and outdoor promotional campaign, targeting a range of residents and signposting them to crisis support such as financial assistance, grants, an online benefit and household budget calculator as well as advice on keeping good mental health and ways to make small savings, household changes and concessions to reduce the cost of living.

Councillor Logue added: “We are all feeling the pinch just now with many residents facing food and fuel poverty for the first time but many households are facing even greater financial hardship in the coming winter months which could have a devastating impact on their lives. We’re continuing to work with our partners including NHS Lanarkshire, Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue to provide a collaborative response to those in need.

“There are wider government commitments but it’s crucial that crisis relief is available locally, on the ground and that people have access to meaningful information that can help them make small cost savings from living with less. There is support and advice available and we will work with our partners to help as many families and households as possible but it’s important to look out for each other and take forward that support as a community.”

Share this page

The following links open in a new tab

Page last updated:
05 Oct 2022

Help us improve this pageClose

We're sorry this page didn't meet your expectations this time. Please let us know if you have any feedback to help us improve the content.

If you have a question or comment about a council service or would like a reply, please contact us.

Thank you for your feedback