Organisations from across Denbighshire have made a pledge to play their part in reducing the impact of the cost of living crisis on the county’s residents.
Over 100 people from numerous organisations signed up for the workshop hosted at Rhyl Town Hall and arranged by Denbighshire County Council and Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council.
Key speakers from the Wales Centre for Public Policy and the Bevan Foundation talked about poverty and some of the financial issues affecting people in Wales, including increasing inflation costs, high costs of fuel and energy, higher food costs, increases in mortgage rates and more borrowing on credit cards. They also highlighted how the crisis is having an impact on some families in Wales that are struggling to afford the most basic of items and many having little or no savings to rely on.
Citizens Advice Denbighshire discussed some case studies where they had supported some residents to access funding to make their homes more energy efficient and another case study where a family received a payment after receiving too little Universal Credit.
South Denbighshire Community Partnership
The South Denbighshire Community Partnership also focussed on local case studies and how the cost of living situation is having an impact in local communities, as well as highlighting access to services in rural communities. The Partnership also promoted the kind of support they offer, including community transport, meals on wheels, prescription collection service, telephone befriending, weekly door to door shopping and access to Citizens Advice Denbighshire services.
Workshops also considered ideas on supporting people to maximise income and employment; how to support people to deal with rising fuel and energy costs; how to support people to eat well and how to support school children and the impact of poverty on them.
Leader of Denbighshire
Leader of Denbighshire, Councillor Jason McLellan, said: “We very much welcomed the opportunity to get together to discuss ideas of what we can do as individual organisations, but also what can be achieved by working together.
“The cost of living crisis is real and has already affected many of our residents. It’s not unique to Denbighshire by any means, but we must do all that we can to help in our county. The message at the workshop was quite stark – that the financial situation is likely to get worse and people will continue to struggle to pay their bills. People are already having to make difficult decisions on how to spend their money, often needing to choose between heating and eating.
“The Council has made a commitment in its Corporate Plan to support economic recovery and to capitalise on opportunities to allow residents to access decent employment and income.
“We want to use economic growth as a way to reduce inequality, deprivation and poverty and we can only do that by working in partnership with local organisations and communities.
Tom Barham, Chief Executive of Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council, said: “Hearing our guest speakers talking about the impact that the cost of living crisis is having on residents was truly heart breaking and how the position in Denbighshire is reflecting the position in many counties right across Wales.
“It was a very constructive workshop where a lot of ideas were discussed and we will all play our part in informing our residents about the advice and support that is available, as well as implementing a short and long term action plan to try and address some of these issues”.
Public events will be taking place later in the year, to provide an opportunity for local residents to have their say and get involved in exploring solutions that will alleviate the financial pressures on families.
Photo Credit: Ian Lee