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Agenda item

Notice of Motion Regarding "Supporting Residents Through The Cost-Of-Living Crisis" - Given By Councillor Terry Fox and To Be Seconded By Councillor Julie Grocutt

That this Council:-

 

(a)      believes that that there can be no doubt that we are in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, with surges in fuel, energy and food prices and with inflation running at a 30-year high;

 

(b)      believes that the cost of living crisis is the single biggest issue, and most immediate concern, for most people across the UK;

 

(c)      notes that, whilst global shocks and the war in Ukraine have of course had an impact, a decade of low growth under Conservative-led governments has left the economy weakened and unable to deal with shocks;

 

(d)      believes the Government’s response has been woeful and further highlights how out of touch they are, and that rather than getting to grips with the serious issues facing our country they instead are preoccupied with waging unnecessary culture wars;

 

(e)      believes there is much the Government needs to be doing, and one need only look to governments across Europe to see what can be done to help households against a sharp rise in energy bills, and yet here in the UK the Government’s spring statement offered nothing to those who really need it;

 

(f)       believes, therefore, that the Government should take heed of the Labour Party’s call for an emergency budget and supports the following activity:-

 

(i)       a windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas companies, which would save household bills by up to £600 (helping mitigate the Government’s National Insurance rise);

 

(ii)       a discount on business rates for small and medium sized businesses;

 

(iii)      a "rapid ramp-up" of installing insulation into homes across the country to save on energy bills;

 

(iv)      an investigation by the National Crime Agency into taxpayer money lost through fraud; and

 

(v)      reversing the £20 per week cut to Universal Credit;

 

(g)      believes that whilst the Government is spectacularly failing to help families, members of the previous Council administration have, over the course of the last year, been working to ensure the Council is doing everything it can to support residents through the cost of living crisis;

 

(h)      notes that at an organisational level, Sheffield City Council are treating the cost of living crisis with the same resolve as it did for the pandemic;

 

(i)       notes that, just like in the pandemic, the Leader of the Council established a Gold Command Executive Management Team, and is ensuring that every effort is being made to review what the Council is doing in response to the difficulties facing our communities;

 

(j)       notes that Sheffield City Council and partners have put together a Sheffield Money Support website to provide a single point of access for residents;

 

(k)      believes that our Council should act as a point of call for those in need, and reaffirms support for the forthcoming rollout of a Financial Support Access Plan – so Sheffielders can be best advised where to go for the right financial support, suited to their circumstances;

 

(l)       notes that due to the approval of the budget amendment proposed by the Labour Group in March 2022, which secured £3.5 million for sustainable local energy, the Council is increasing ways to get energy bills down, through installing renewable energy on our estate; such as schools, libraries, community centres and council homes;

 

(m)     notes that under the previous Administration’s Housing Revenue Account, the Council is retrofitting 6,000 homes with new roofs, and 2,000 homes will benefit from boiler replacements, as well as ensuring that all council homes are to at least EPC C (Energy Performance Level C) – making homes warmer and reducing bills;

 

(n)      further notes that the approved amendment to the budget, proposed by the Labour Group, put extra resources into supporting neighbourhoods, and focused extra support on those who will be the most hardest hit, including further support for the Food Access Plan;

 

(o)      believes that this resolve to tackle this crisis must carry on throughout the new committee system, and calls on every Policy Committee to ensure that the cost of living crisis is a key priority in their work plans, and that all financial decisions must consider what impact they will be having on the crisis; and

 

(p)      notes that the Leader of the Council has already begun convening a strategic conversation with partners and stakeholders (including the voluntary and community sector, public sector partners, utility companies and MPs) to maximise our collective effort around responding to the crisis.

 

 

Supporting documents: