Council commits £100,000 to support residents through cost of living crisis

In response to the ongoing cost of living crisis, we have announced a significant commitment to support our residents. The council’s Executive approved an investment of £100,000.

Published: Wednesday, 4th October 2023


In response to the ongoing cost of living crisis, Cherwell District Council has announced a significant commitment to support its residents. At its recent meeting (2 October), the council’s Executive approved an investment of £100,000 in additional activities for winter 2023.
The decision follows a motion passed at Full Council in July 2023, where the council recognised the financial pressures faced by residents and pledged to help.
An action plan focuses on five key areas designed to provide invaluable support to Cherwell
residents. These themes are health and wellbeing, food insecurity, fuel poverty, accessing advice, and maximising income.
The council acknowledges that physical and emotional wellbeing are closely linked to meeting basic needs. An emerging Cherwell wellbeing strategy, 'Everybody’s Wellbeing,' will offer a range of ways to build stronger and more resilient communities. Dedicated cost of living support activities will include special events to help residents and expanding the winter warmers programme.
The rising cost of food and drink has impacted residents significantly, and the council is committed to ensuring that emergency food provision remains accessible while exploring long-term solutions to reduce dependency on foodbanks. The council intends to provide additional food grants through the Community Food Network, offer the Activate and Eat Club during school half term holidays plus other initiatives.
Drastic increases in fuel costs have left some households unable to heat their homes this winter consistently. Relaunching the council's Warm Welcome Network of community spaces aims to provide immediate assistance, while long-term support is directed towards improving energy efficiency.
The evolving nature of the cost-of-living crisis often means households need access to specialised advice. Partnerships are being formed to ensure that advice is readily available from trusted sources, including local support from Citizens Advice.
In light of increased living costs, the council is also working to equip households with the tools to make their money go further. Collaborative efforts with Age UK Oxfordshire and Citizens Advice will help residents access the benefits they may be entitled to and grow their household income over the long term.
In addition to these key areas, the council has allocated £100,000 for district-wide initiatives to reduce social isolation and food waste. Further details about these schemes will be released shortly.
Councillor Phil Chapman, Portfolio Holder for Healthy and Safe Communities, said: "We have worked extensively with partners to offer schemes and initiatives that help people through these challenging times, and our commitment continues this autumn and winter.
“We will continue to ensure that Cherwell residents can access support and secure help when they need it most and have approved a further £100,000 to offer more initiatives that will be flexible and responsive to meet their changing needs.
“In the face of the economic challenges, we remain dedicated to supporting our residents and creating more resilient and thriving communities."

These new initiatives will complement all the existing council work to support communities and residents through these difficult times.
The extensive range of initiatives already offered includes the You Move and community centre programmes to help with health and wellbeing, food vouchers for those on certain benefits and initiatives to share surplus food. The Warm Welcome Network last winter offered spaces for people to keep warm, a programme of support through Citizen’s Advice provides money and debt advice, and a council tax reduction scheme helps many entitled households.
Further information about cost-of-living support is available on the council’s website