Agenda item

Cost of Living Action Plan


Councillor Sue Dann (Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Sport, Leisure and HR & OD) introduced the item and highlighted the following points: 


a)    It was not a standalone project, instead influencing the way the city tackled poverty moving forward, and the plan would transform into a long-term plan; 

b)    Cost of things such as food and energy bills had stalled, but were not decreasing, and government support was not the same as it was in the winter of 2022/23, and for most people, wages were virtually stagnant; 

c)    The cost of living crisis was causing people to enter financial crisis, who had never been in that situation before; 

d)    Gambling and gambling debt was increasing, and this would be added into aspects of the plan moving forward. 


Ruth Harrell (Director of Public Health) added: 


e)    The was developed with partners across the city, who would contine to be involved as the plan took a dynamic approach moving forward; 

f)     There were four main themes within the plan: 

g)    Offers and discounts available and promoted on the cost of living hub; 

h)    Making money go further; 

i)     Crisis support (financial support and mental health support); 

j)     Asks for Government; 

k)    The hub online had the plan itself as well as lots of helpful links to information and support, with support from partners across the city in helping other people access it if they can’t themselves, or haven’t heard of it; 

l)     As winter approached it was especially important to consider the dangers of cold homes and how to support people in keeping warm, as well as helping them with Christmas, a time that could fill people with dread due to the cost. 


Councillor Sally Cresswell (Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Apprenticeships) added: 


m)  Feedback at Plymstock school had been very positive,  


Councillor Sue Dann then added: 

n)    Leaflets had been distributed to all well-being hubs, libraries, 60 churches, the job centre, PEC advisors, schools and midwives as well as handed out at events; 

o)    In August, there had been over 2,000 hits on the cost of living hub, most on the ‘free things to do in Plymouth’ area and this would continue to be updated for October half term and the Christmas period; 

p)    Since it launched, it had had over 200,000 visits and over 7,000 engagements; 

q)    It was especially important to ensure that people did not feel stigmatised; 

r)    Work in October would be done with banks and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, to help people before they get into financial trouble; 

s)     Plymouth Charter involved over 330 businesses and had nearly 700 LinkedIn members and have agreed to look employers at whether they are paying their staff fairly and more to add to encouragement to get other people back into work; 

t)     Advice would be provided on how people could make their money go further at Christmas, for example buying some items at a charity shop; 

u)    The hub could be accessed at: Cost of living | PLYMOUTH.GOV.UK; 

v)    Partners across the city would be sent comms packs to help them share the same messaging on their social media sites. 


w)    In response to a question, it was explained: 

x)    PADAN and Improving Lives were involved in the work and Councillor Dann would be attending an Improving Lives event in October to talk more about what the Council was doing in the cost of living crisis. 


y)     The Leader of the Council thanked: 

z)    The team involved at the Council putting the plan together and the extensive list of organisations involved in developing and sharing the information. 


aa)    The Cabinet agreed to note the Action Plan. 


Supporting documents: