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Tackling poverty

Reducing the cost of living

Rising living costs, such as housing costs, fuel costs and debt repayments present a significant challenge and represent the third driver of poverty.

North Lanarkshire is already reducing the cost of living through the capital investment programme, investing in energy efficiency measures across all Council housing stock, reducing tenants’ fuel costs. 

Reducing the cost of living is the third driver in terms of tackling poverty and North Lanarkshire is committed to continuing to identify and provide other opportunities for our communities to reduce the cost of living.

Examples of high living costs

Carnegie Trust research identified that within North Lanarkshire there are 19-22,500 people using short-term high cost credit annually and that between 53,000-59,000 loans are taken out each year which are worth £20-24 million.

In North Lanarkshire we have 29,542 households on prepaid meters and therefore paying more for their fuel costs.

In North Lanarkshire it is estimated that 36,000 households experience fuel poverty - a household is in fuel poverty if, in order to maintain a satisfactory heating regime, it would be required to spend more than 10% of its income on household fuel use.

Tackling Poverty Action Plan

The Tackling Poverty Action Plan 2020 - 2023 sets out a range of measures through which North Lanarkshire intend to reduce the cost of living.

Action planned to reduce the cost of living

Food poverty prevention

School holiday and weekend food provision to continue for children with free school meal entitlement to ensure they have access to a hot meal every day. Increasing free school meal uptake rates to ensure that all those entitled to benefit from this know about it and apply.

Increased uptake of school clothing grants

Work towards automation of this service to ensure that all those entitled to access the school clothing grant apply for it and school children have access to suitable school and footwear.

Provision of sanitary products

Continue to provide sanitary products to achieve universal access within education and public buildings.

Fuel poverty

Assist families who are experiencing fuel poverty via campaigns such as Big Switch and income maximisation.

Focus on the cost of supply of utilities and pursuing alternative options for residents via the Energy Best Deal, lead by CAB, to increase the number of residents accessing cheaper fuel

Financial education

Continue to provide school children with money advice/ consumer advice information sessions  (MACA) and make more children more aware of financial issues

Access to affordable credit

One of the factors which contributes to an increase in the cost of living is debt and high cost credit. North Lanarkshire plans to increase access to affordable credit and to widen access to payroll deduction for credit unions which will help to increase credit union membership and reduce payday loan lending in North Lanarkshire by 2023. There is also a plan to establish credit union forum in North Lanarkshire

If you need to take a loan or buy items on credit, there are different options for affordable credit available from responsible lenders.

You can find details of Credit Unions in your area by visiting the Credit Union website.

Debt advice

Continue with the ongoing work, provided by Council Services and External Advice Services, to provide advice and support in relation to debt and budgeting advice to help people out of debt and provide them with the tools to budget accordingly. Additionally there will be a Debt Advice Pilot scheme set up, providing debt advice via a telephone helpline and a webchat interface.

Support homeowners to adapt, repair and maintain their homes

Deliver advice and assistance (including financial assistance) to homeowners through the Scheme of Assistance and reduce the cost of living by preventing and addressing disrepair, and improving health and wellbeing by supporting owners to adapt their homes.

Improved energy efficiency

Reduce the cost of living and fuel poverty by improving the energy efficiency of housing stock across all tenures by 2024.

New affordable homes

Deliver 5,000 new affordable homes by 2035, reducing the cost of living by increasing the supply of energy efficient, affordable homes

Funeral poverty

By late 2020 we will begin to work with funeral directors in an attempt to address high funeral costs for North Lanarkshire residents and achieve more affordable packages and plan, by 2023, to address the rising costs of funerals.

How to contact us?

You can get in touch with us by emailing tacklingpoverty@northlan.gov.uk.

Page last updated:
28 Sep 2020

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