This month’s County Spotlight focuses on the current cost of living crisis, with inflation this week hitting 9.1% – a 40 year high. Since the turn of the year, county councils and unitary councils in county areas have been putting in place a series of measures designed to alleviate pressures on household budgets.
This document shows how CCN’s member councils have effectively used the government’s Household Support Grant to distribute support to those who need it the most, quickly and effectively, working in partnership local partners.
Examples in the document’s 18 case studies include a CCN member who, working with district council partners, to share and use data effectively to locate eligible people for food vouchers, a county authority who used the fund to invest in the long-term by setting up a network of community pantries, and another council setting up its own bespoke fund to make financial hardship payments to households and individuals to support them through the current crisis.
CCN members have gone further than this – boosting their allocations of the Household Support Fund with their own funding.
Other case studies in the document feature a CCN member that has increased its affordable housing delivery by 75% over the last year, and highlights how other county authorities have frozen adult education and public transport prices as costs elsewhere rise.
The document features fresh policy insights and data from CCN, which reveals that the number of individuals claiming Universal Credit last month is far higher than pre-pandemic levels, with the number of people claiming unemployment benefits and council tax support also rising over the period.
The document follows on from CCN research that analysed the impact of inflation on local authority budgets, which you can read here.