Agenda item

NCC External Pressures - Cost of Living


The Leader presented the final report, providing colleagues with an update on the external pressures facing the Council and information on how we were collaborating with our partners and communities to support those in need across the city.


This report provided local and UK research on how the cost-of-living crisis continued to impact on household finances, including information on a 6.9% increase in private rental prices across Wales. 


In Newport, the lead reason for homelessness continued to be due to loss of rented accommodation and rising rent costs, which had the potential to further increase demand on our housing and homelessness services.


The Council was working closely with local and national partners to provide support, advice and guidance where possible, including promoting national schemes such as Warm Wales, and the Welsh Government ‘Help to Stay’ equity loan scheme launched last week to support homeowners who were struggling to afford their mortgage payments and facing the threat of repossession and homelessness. 


The Leader took the opportunity to urge residents experiencing difficulties to reach out and contact the Council for information and signposting on the advice and support available; this could be done in person, by phone or by visiting our support and advice pages on the website.


Colleagues would be aware of Cabinet’s commitment within the Corporate Plan to work towards Newport becoming a Living Wage City.  The importance of this commitment was reinforced with the announced 10% increase in the Living Wage estimated to benefit over 22,800 workers in Wales.


Officers working with our partners and Welsh Government, made significant progress in moving on Ukrainian guests from their initial accommodation by finding alternative housing solutions. 


The Leader was delighted to attend the formal launch of the Building a Fairer Gwent report event at the Lysaght’s Institute last month, which further ignited the regional commitment to address health inequality across all of our communities. 


As the Leader of the Council and Chair of OneNewport, the Leader continued to advocate for partnership working as being vital in supporting residents and businesses and once again encouraged anybody in need to access the support available. This included linking residents with third-sector partners and the police.


Comments of Cabinet Members:


§  Councillor Harvey echoed the Leader’s comments that there was a lot of support for residents.  Newport Live was providing support as well as Maindee Primary, that provided a drop-in session once a month, Housing services were available at Newport Library, as well as the Living Wage Foundation. Councillor Harvey thanked staff for their work and added that it was an emotional strain on staff and therefore wanted to recognise what they did for residents of the city. In relation to winter fuel payments, Councillor Harvey urged residents to pick up the phone and contact a councillor, the City Contact Centre, or Library, to find someone who would provide support.


§  Councillor Batrouni referred to the cost-of-living situation and also echoed comments of the Leader and Councillor Harvey, adding that officers were committed to providing support.


§  Councillor Marshall referred to financial abuse within homes, particularly around Christmas. Residents should reach out to seek support. Welsh Water hosted a Cost-of-Living event at the Riverfront recently which was a success. There were free events during Christmas such as carol services and community support was invaluable. Councillor Marshall also asked that people remember that staff working in shops were also finding it difficult and that people should consider this.


§  Councillor Clarke echoed the comments of his colleagues. Christmas was a difficult time and reiterated that residents should get in touch with the Council.


§  Councillor Hughes thanked all those people involved with the Royal British Legion, supporting veterans and their family during this crisis. Councillor Hughes also thanked all the staff in Newport City Council for supporting the Civic events that had taken place over the weekend.


§  The Leader and Deputy Leader attended a ‘Let’s Connect’ event recently and were overwhelmed with the positivity, range of support and advice and were proud to say that it was done in partnership with Community Connectors and the engagement team.  It was important to highlight that it was a very accessible event, and it was good to talk to everyone involved and the work that they did. The Leader added that all officers involved with this work touched the lives of citizens and therefore thanked them for their continued efforts. The Leader also thanked Councillor Harvey for her oversight.




Cabinet considered the contents of the report on the Council’s activity to respond to the external factors on Newport’s communities, businesses, and Council services

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