Council calls on Hucknall MP to lobby Government for help with 'cost of living emergency'

Members of Ashfield District Council are set to declare a cost of living emergency at this week’s full council meeting on Thursday.

Sunday, 3rd July 2022, 8:55 pm

The motion, proposed by council leader Coun Jason Zadrozny (Ash Ind), will call on the Government to do more to help with rising poverty in the Ashfield district.

The Ashfield Independent-run council, will further ask the district’s two Conservative MPs – Hucknall’s Mark Spencer and Ashfield’s Lee Anderson – to lobby Government to do more to help.

Ashfield will be one of the first councils in the country and the first in Nottinghamshire to declare a cost of living emergency.

Couns Jason Zadrozny (left) and Christian Chapman will declare a cost of living emergency for Ashfield and ask Hucknall MP Mark Spencer (inset) to lobby the Government for more help for the district

It follows latest figures that show nearly one in three children in the dstrict are now claiming free school meals.

Councillors have also cited rising pensioner poverty with Ashfield OAPs seeing £373 cut from their pensions amid rising shopping, fuel, energy and National Insurance costs, coupled with inflation going up.

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Coun Zadrozny said: "Residents in Ashfield have never had it as bad.

"Thousands of residents are going hungry and struggling to make ends meet.

"I receive emails and messages every day from desperate residents asking for help.

"Food bank usage is at its highest and yet Government help has been minimal

"There are simple things that the Government can do.

"They can bring back the £20 universal credit weekly uplift, re-introduce the pensions ‘triple lock’ guarantee and immediately reduce the standard rate of VAT from 20 per cent to 17.5 per cent.

"We want Ashfield’s Tory MPs to take a message back to the Government that we need urgent action now.”

Coun Christian Chapman (Ash Ind), who will second the motion on July 7, added: “The cost of living is the biggest single issue facing residents in Ashfield.

"Our Conservative MPs have voted for policy after policy that makes Ashfield residents poorer.

"We are now asking them to join our fight to do what’s right.

"Inflation rising means a rise in food and clothing prices.

"By reducing VAT, the Government would be sending a clear message that they’re dealing with abject poverty.”

The Dispatch has contacted Mr Spencer for comment.