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Progressive Alliance launches multi-million-pound Winter Plan to support residents struggling

The Progressive Alliance which runs Milton Keynes City Council has today announced its £3.3 million-pound Winter Plan to help residents struggling during the cost-of-living crisis.

The Winter Plan provides help for people suffering through the toughest financial crisis in a generation, with the City Council providing direct financial assistance alongside practical support delivered in partnership with local organisations.


The plan, due to be presented to Cabinet on 1st November, will be broken down into five main priorities:


Working in partnership to help residents – The City Council will be providing funding to Town and Parish Councils, local charities and other core organisations for practical initiatives that will help families during the colder months.


Help for children and families – There will be winter activities and help with food costs when schools are closed, and the City Council will continue to offer its range of services including children and family centres.


Help with energy and housing costs – Nearly £1m has been allocated to provide a variety of energy and housing support measures, including an energy advice helpline and energy improvement home visits. There will also be targeted support for council tenants, renters and those struggling to pay their council tax.


Help for residents facing immediate hardship – There will be an enhanced grant scheme to provide short-term, immediate support for residents struggling with unexpected bills. People who meet specific eligibility criteria may receive help with paying for food, essential household items, or other living costs.


Raising awareness of the help on offer – The City Council will continue to raise awareness by signposting helpful links and information, as well as three special campaigns which will run throughout the winter.


This multi-million-pound package follows Full Council’s declaration of a cost of living emergency in Milton Keynes.


Councillor Jane Carr, Lib Dem Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member for the cost-of-living crisis, said:


“This winter, many families will find themselves in an unbearable situation. Those on low and middle incomes will be heavily hit, and people will have to choose between heating, eating and debt. We cannot sit by while the Conservative’s cost-of-living crisis leaves lives in tatters, and that is why we are unveiling our Winter Plan today. The Progressive Alliance truly cares about the people of Milton Keynes and has brought this plan forward to mitigate the failures of the Conservative Government by doing all we can to support residents through serious financial hardship.”


Councillor Emily Darlington is the Deputy Leader of the Labour Group and is Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South. She added:


“Inflation has hit 10%, food prices are rising at their fastest rate in over four decades, energy bills have doubled, and mortgage rates have hit a 14-year high. It is heart-breaking to think that all of this, and complete lack of action from the Government, means that people will struggle to get by this winter.


“Time and time again the Progressive Alliance has stepped up when the Government has failed. This multi-million-pound Winter Plan is a core example of this, and will act as a lifeline for thousands of families facing a difficult winter ahead.”


Full details of Milton Keynes City Council’s Winter Plan will be announced over the coming months, and information about support will be available online atwww.milton-keynes.gov.uk/benefits/cost-living-support.