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Council launches new cost of living and anti-poverty strategy

Press release -

Council launches new cost of living and anti-poverty strategy

New measures to help Bury residents cope with the cost of living crisis are set to be agreed by Bury Council.

The aim is to assist people through immediate hardship but also to help them meet financial challenges in the medium and long term.

Among the measures is to give £100 to every pensioner who receives council tax benefit – approximately 4,700 people.

Councillor Richard Gold, cabinet member for communities and finance, said: “People in Bury have been through a really tough time over the last couple of years with Covid, and are now facing huge challenges with the cost of living.

“This is being driven by high levels of inflation, with wages and benefits not keeping pace with matching price rises. This is particularly noticeable in relation to the increased costs of food and fuel, which have been driven by national and international factors. These pressures are not felt equally, and have a disproportionate impact on particular households.

“Our plan for post-pandemic recovery has to be about more than simply helping people get through the day-to-day struggle. We also need to put in place measures that will help people become more resilient over the long term.”

The new strategy will focus on several elements:

  • Food Poverty – such as supporting the development of Bury Community Support Network; delivering the Fit and Fed holiday activity programme; developing Cooking Well for Less sessions.
  • Poverty and wellbeing – supporting the Getting Help helpline and the Bee Well young persons’ social prescribing provision.
  • Finance and debt – providing continued financial support to Citizen Advice Bureau, increasingly at neighbourhoods; and working to develop a money advice referral tool.
  • Work and Wages – becoming a Real Living Wage employer; building on the success of the local Working Well programme to get people into and back into work.
  • Childhood poverty – co-ordinated work to increase uptake of Healthy Start vouchers; providing school uniform vouchers and free meals over the holidays.
  • Housing including fuel – increasing awareness of support through Energyworks, CAB and Local Energy Advice Partnership, and working with GM Fire and Rescue Service to reduce risks associated with alternative fuel usage.
  • Digital inclusion as an enabler – leading partnership activity to increase access to digital equipment and skills and build links with Digital Poverty Alliance including Tech4Families campaigns.

As well as the £100 payments to pensioners on council tax benefit, the council is also looking at allocating £630,000 to continue free school meals during the holidays; a further £120,000 pot for pensioners in hardship and £175,000 for those of working age; and £40,000 to support foodbanks. The council recently committed £240,000 in grants to families to help them buy school uniforms.

Cllr Gold added: “We must firstly target resources at those most in need, but also support all residents to be aware of the broad range of advice and support they can access. This ranges from ways to maximise their income and claim the financial support and benefits they are entitled to, right down to helping people with advice on energy efficiency and cooking on a budget.

“Immediate action has to be matched to longer-term approaches which tackle the causes of poverty and inequality rather than just react to the symptoms of current pressures. We also need to look at improving people’s skills, so that they can get better work and be more able to weather the financial storms of the future.

“Crucial to the success of the strategy will be working with all our partners, community groups, the CAB and the VCFA to get right down to street level and identify individuals and families who most need help.”

Councillors will consider the strategy when the cabinet meets next Wednesday (13 July). To read the full report, go to


Press release issued: 6 July 2022.





Peter Doherty

Peter Doherty

Press contact Press Officer Press Office

Committed to providing good quality services to our residents

Bury Council consists of six towns, Bury, Ramsbottom, Tottington, Radcliffe, Whitefield and Prestwich. Formed in April 1974 as a result of Local Government re-organisation it was one of the ten original districts that formed the County of Greater Manchester. The Borough has an area of 9,919 hectares (24,511 acres) and serves a population of 187,500.

Bury Council
Knowsley Street
BL9 OSW Bury, Lancashire