Published: Wednesday, 22nd June 2022

A taskforce has been launched to support residents and local businesses in Royal Greenwich with the rising cost of living.

At a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 22 June, Cllr Anthony Okereke, Leader of the Council, along with his Cabinet, made a pledge to take urgent action to do even more to support residents and small businesses with the rising cost of living.  

To help identify and close any gaps in support, the Council will be working closely with communities across our borough to ensure no-one is left behind. 

In the coming days and weeks, the Council will be reaching out widely to connect with residents directly, through community centres, respected local figures, faith groups and many others.    

We want residents to share how the cost of living is affecting them and their communities, allowing our diverse borough to shape how the Council responds to issues such as food poverty and unexpected hardship.  

Cllr Anthony Okereke, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich said: “The rising cost of living is not news to many of our residents who may already be feeling the strain, but we want you to know we are here to support you.  

“Together we will tackle the inequalities affecting the most vulnerable residents in our community. We believe it is a basic human right to be able to feed your family and keep them warm during the colder months, despite surging energy prices. 

“The rising energy costs are a massive concern, that we plan to address with the support of our local partners and charity organisations.”

Yesterday, the Leader of the Council published proposals on how the Council will distribute £2.4 million of Household Support Grant funding from the Government up until September.  

Under the proposals targeted payments will be made that ensure that residents struggling to meet basic needs such as food, energy and bills are supported.  

The proposals include: 

  • Sending targeted payments to residents with children on free school meals, or with pre-school children, care leavers and immigrants who have no access to public funds.  

  • Allocating funding to around 7,500 low-income pensioner households. 

  • Working with local partners such as Charlton Athletic Community Trust, Live Well and South East London Community Energy to respond to food and energy poverty. 

  • We will work to strengthen existing programmes including food clubs and food pantries, and Stay Warm Stay Safe, as well as the Emergency Support Scheme. 

Cllr Ivis Williams, Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources and Social Value said: “Unlike many London councils, the payments we plan to make are coming from a place of strength. We have a strong network of council-funded groups as well as voluntary and community organisations working together to directly support our residents.  

“We will continue to build on this, making sure that no vulnerable resident falls through the cracks. In the coming weeks, we will be asking the diverse communities across the borough for input so we can work together to better understand how to support you.”  

As a Council, we understand that the situation is getting worse for many of our residents and may continue to do so as we approach autumn and winter. We have mobilised a taskforce to work with the community and identify where our support system may be vulnerable and close these gaps.  

Through conversations with our residents and our partners we will begin to shape how our response to the rising cost of living will look going forward.