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‘No shame’ in reaching out for food parcel support, senior councillor says

Newport City Council's headquarters, the Civic Centre (Pic: LDRS)

A SENIOR councillor in Newport has urged people to reach out to the council if they are struggling to keep up with the cost of living.

Debbie Harvey, the cabinet member for community wellbeing, said there was “no shame” in seeking support if residents were facing difficulties.

Many of the people Newport City Council is delivering food parcels to are working families, she added.

Cllr Debbie Harvey (Pic: Newport City Council)

A new council report shows nearly half of people are “struggling with their food and fuel bills”, Cllr Harvey told a cabinet meeting on Wednesday (March 6).

A further 39% of adults who are responsible for rent or mortgages have reported at least some difficulty paying for them, according to research by the Office for National Statistics.

Welsh Labour representative Cllr Harvey said there were “monthly” if not “daily” discussions around the rising cost-of-living and of people’s struggles to keep up.

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The Alway ward councillor suggested to colleagues that a new government at the UK level could lead to a change in fortunes.

“Working families” requiring food parcels “is something that should never happen in 2024”, she said, adding that more than 3,000 people had attended 157 “warm spaces” sessions across the city to date.

Council leader Jane Mudd said such support schemes were a reminder of “how important public services are to the fabric of society”.

A list of the various cost-of-living support services offered by Newport City Council can be found on the local authority website at www.newport.gov.uk/benefits-and-support/how-we-can-help