The Council leaders across Greater Manchester have escalated their response to the cost of living crisis, as new research shows that a majority of residents across the city-region have seen their expenses increase over the last month.
Last week Manchester’s council leaders were presented with the Greater Manchester Residents Survey.
The results have been shocking, with almost half of all residents saying they would be unable to pay £850 for an emergency response.
The survey, carried out between 20 October and 3 November, also found that just over a third of mortgage holders are struggling with mortgage payments, while almost half of renters are having difficulty paying rent.
Andy Burnham said: “Greater Manchester’s response to the cost of living crisis is being strengthened all the time, and the focus shown by leaders across our local authorities, together with businesses and other partners, has enabled us to coordinate those efforts much more effectively.
“Action is being taken right now to address the diverse impacts of this crisis, from setting up warm spaces throughout our communities, to rolling out the Good Employment Charter to more employers so that they can support more of their workers through these challenging times.
“The expansion of A Bed Every Night, in partnership with Manchester City Council, means that 86 more beds will now be available this winter, giving people sleeping rough the chance to access vital accommodation and support to get back on their feet.
“Unfortunately, those same communities and businesses across Greater Manchester continue to be impacted by a rail network that is not providing the reliability or the levels of service that our city-region, and the wider North, desperately need.
“Damage is being done to business investment and to business confidence. This situation can and must be resolved, and we are ready to work in partnership with Government to see that happen.”
Here’s some of the action council’s have been taken across Greater Manchester
Oldham Council have approved a package of support for residents including £3million of investment in local services
In Manchester, a support package of £8 million has been agreed alongside a dedicated Cost of Living Action Plan.
Councils acrsoss Greater Manchester have now made more than 300 warm spaces avaliable for anybody who needs them, with more expected as further funding becomes available.
The spaces include all Greater Manchester libraries, which have also signed up as databanks to offer connectivity to residents needing to access digital services.
Residents can find their nearest space at www.warmwelcome.uk or by contacting their local authority.
At a press conference last week, alongside Manchester City Council Leader Cllr Bev Craig and City Mayor of Salford Paul Dennett, Greater Manchester Deputy Mayor and lead for homelessness, the Mayor announced £460,000 of additional funding for the A Bed Every Night scheme to support people experiencing rough sleeping this winter.
An extra 86 bed spaces will be added to the existing provision of 520, while flexible funding for an additional 800 bed nights will also be available in response to demand.
Early December will also see a new campaign from Greater Manchester’s Helping Hand initiative, with a focus on supporting people’s mental health and wellbeing.
Following extensive consultation with residents about the issues they’re facing, the campaign will provide a range of practical guidance and self-help tips, as well as information on how to access more specialist mental health and wellbeing assistance.
The campaign will also remind residents to make sure they’re registered for any benefits for which they are eligible, such as free school meals or pension credit, and will link to the extensive offers all 10 councils are providing through their cost of living response.
Cllr Amanda Chadderton, Leader of Oldham Council and Greater Manchester Lead for the cost of living crisis, said: “As we enter the winter months the challenges posed by the cost of living crisis are only growing, but across Greater Manchester we are rising to meet that challenge.
“The progress we’ve made, from additional investment for A Bed Every Night to the establishment of 306 warm spaces throughout every district, has been so important – particularly when we see the results of the latest Residents Survey, which continues to shine a spotlight on the impact this crisis is having on people’s lives here in Greater Manchester.
“We’ve gone through a relatively mild autumn, but now the drop in temperature is going to be keenly felt by people here, some of whom will face unimaginable decisions about whether to turn on the heating or feed their families. We will do everything we can, together with all of our partners across the city-region, to put in place support that is both accessible to everyone who might need it, and targeted to address the specific issues that we know people here are facing.”
Have you been affected by the cost of living crisis? Email [email protected] to share your story.