Bradford Council is to set out how it aims to protect the most vulnerable and poorest communities through the current cost of living increases and in the future.
A report on the new Anti-Poverty Strategy will go to a meeting of Bradford Council’s Executive on Tuesday, 1 November.
In Bradford District, poverty and the cost of living increase is impacting families, communities and organisations. The rising costs of fuel, food and other essentials is hitting the poorest places and poorest groups in society hardest as they spend a higher proportion of their income on essential bills.
The report highlights the work the council is doing now to support communities.
Working with partners, Community Action Bradford and District (CABAD) and Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership, the council recently launched a website to help people access support with the cost of living crisis – costoflivingbradford.co.uk.
A booklet full of advice and guidance has also been produced; ‘Cost of living: Support in the Bradford District’. Copies of these will be available at libraries, community centres, GP practices, food banks and information centres over the coming weeks.
The council has also laid out a £5.7m support package to help the most vulnerable this winter using the Household Support Fund. The majority of the money, around £3.55m, will be used to make direct payments to low income households.
Every household in receipt of council tax reduction will get a £65 payment towards increased fuel costs with an additional £20 one-off payment per child in the household for food. People do not need to apply for this payment. Anyone who qualifies will automatically be sent a voucher, by post, in December.
Around £1.1m is being given to voluntary and community groups across the district to provide healthy food hampers to families in need.
Extra funds are being given to foodbanks and money has been allocated to help set up a network of warm spaces across the district. These are places anyone can go for free to be warm and save on heating costs at home. People can find their nearest warm space on the website costoflivingbradford.co.uk
The council is also working with Carers’ Resource to help unpaid carers, with Bradford Baby Bank to help children who need beds and with Bradford District Credit Union to help single parents with the cost of school uniforms. Money has also been allocated to the Warm Homes Healthy People service which helps people who are vulnerable to illness as a result of cold, damp housing conditions with fuel costs and heating repairs.
There is also support for care leavers and schemes to provide those in urgent need with fuel top-ups on pre-payment meters and to help people buy essential household items such as a cooker or fridge at a low cost.
The leader of Bradford Council, Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, said: “The Anti-Poverty Strategy is clear that by working together, we want to make sure that Bradford District is a place where everyone, regardless of background, can realise their potential and lead fulfilling lives free from the scarring effects of poverty and inequality.
“We know that these are terribly difficult times for a lot of people across the district. The cost of living crisis is having a devastating impact on communities and this is on top of the impact from the pandemic. We are using the limited funding available to us to help support people in most need and will do everything we can to continue to support residents.”