Leighton-Linslade families urgently seek help as 'true cost of living crisis yet to be seen'

Leighton-Linslade is feeling the pinch of rising prices as Citizens Advice warns that "the true cost of this crisis is yet to be seen".

By Jo Robinson
Monday, 23rd May 2022, 12:04 pm

As the total of energy, fuel and everyday items skyrockets, Citizens Advice and Leighton-Linslade Homeless Service have both seen requests for help increase, while Leighton-Linslade Town councillors are investigating the range of support available.

Councillor Steve Owen, who proposed that the council conduct research, told the LBO: "This big hike in fuel prices is a serious issue for a lot of people - particularly people who are not well off - and we want to find out whether that is something that the town council can help with, or whether it's being dealt with by other agencies - local government, social services and so on.

"It doesn't always mean that the council needs to do the whole thing itself, but to see if it can co-ordinate help from other agencies, and make sure that help is reaching people that need it."

(Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)

One source of support for people in need is the Leighton-Linslade Homeless Service, which runs a foodbank.

Rosie George BEM, of the Leighton-Linslade Homeless Service, said: "Yes, there is an increase in requests for help, and thankfully, we are very well supported by the generous people of the town and local villages.

"Donations have reduced considerably from supermarket donation points which is concerning but understandable. We have always appreciated the support of Tesco and Morrisons.

"We also receive generous donations from individuals, social groups, and churches."

Rosie added: "We continue to work closely with Citizens Advice, a charity that cannot be overly praised for the guidance it provides."

Citizens Advice Leighton-Linslade (CALL) can assist with many issues, including benefit checks, energy bills, and debts. It can also advise on local welfare provision and school costs.

Kash Karimzandi, chief officer at CALL said: "We’ve definitely seen an increase in enquiries around the cost of living and energy bills. We’re finding that the enquiries cover all different household types, from pensioners to families to single people; working and non-working; those with good health and those who suffer from long-term health conditions. Our particular concern is for the more vulnerable households – those with a disability or chronic conditions for example."

Read More

Read More
Mid Bedfordshire among worst areas for access to cash - while just a handful of ...

CALL has helped people access food parcels and emergency provision, as well as assisting in the roll out of the Household Support fund (which finished in its current form at the end of March).

Kash added: "Clients who’ve seen a rise in their direct debit payments to energy providers have called us and we’ve helped them check they’re paying the right amount.

"However, we feel that the true cost of this crisis is yet to be seen, particularly for clients who are relying on credit.

"At the moment, we’re still benefiting from creditors who are less willing or able to take action post-pandemic. We are anticipating that there will be an increase in activity by those creditors during the next six to 12 months and that more people will have visits from the bailiffs or be taken to court.

"We’re concerned that people will rely on credit cards and loans to pay essential bills and end up in a vicious circle."

CALL encourages anyone who is struggling to come forward.

Call 01525 373878 or visit www.leightonlinsladecab.org.uk