At today’s city council Cabinet meeting, Cllr Paula Ferguson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community and Housing, announced the launch of a cost of living intervention to support households in the Winchester district who are struggling with the rapidly rising cost of living.

The intervention is in addition to the support being provided by central Government and takes into account the council’s local understanding of the impact of the crisis on the residents of Winchester.

Cllr Ferguson announced a £200,000 package of measures which will provide help and support to those who need it most. The measures include:

  • A cost of living Emergency Grant Fund that will be used to provide additional support to partner organisations who can provide advice and practical support to residents – this includes help to reduce and manage energy bills, help to access benefits and grants, help to access food and other types of emergency support.
  • Calling a local Cost of Living Summit, to bring together partner organisations from across the Winchester District to discuss how we can best work together to coordinate and maximise our efforts and our impact – which will include understanding the potential need to provide a network of warm, safe spaces this winter.
  • Setting up a dedicated webpage to help people find the information they need quickly and easily, with direct links to available support.
  • Ensuring, where appropriate, that the council’s own services are focused on offering targeted cost of living support.

Cllr Paula Ferguson says ‘Winchester City Council has a strong track record of providing support when people need it most – whether that was during the recent pandemic or by providing asylum and sanctuary to people who have sought safety and a home in our district.

These supportive values are more than just words. Through this Cost of Living intervention we aim to reach as many residents as possible who may be struggling, providing them with the help and support they need to stay warm and put food on their tables this winter.

By working with our partners, we hope to maximise our efforts and our impact, ensuring our residents can access the information and support they need quickly and easily. We will also be writing to the Government to call on them to provide additional support for those most severely affected locally. The message we want to send to our residents, many of whom we know are worried about the months ahead, is that we are here to support to you.”

More information will be available on the council’s website in the coming days. Cllr Ferguson’s statement can be heard in full on the council’s website: Agenda for Cabinet on Thursday, 22nd September, 2022, 2.00 pm – Winchester City Council (approximately 43mins 30 secs in)