A COUNCIL action plan to help residents through the cost-of-living crisis was given the go-ahead at a crunch town hall summit – where Erewash councillors also voted on ways to plug a looming £1million-plus black hole in the authority’s day-to-day budget.
The meeting of the Council Executive on Tuesday 5 September was presented with a detailed blueprint for the authority to use all the powers available to it to assist local people. Council leader James Dawson said:
“Helping residents amid the cost-of-living nightmare is our top priority – but the squeeze is proving brutal for the council. This means seeking all the savings we can – not least because government cuts in the past 13 years have seen the authority lose a colossal £5million of funding.”
The council will use cash it secured from the government via the Shared Prosperity Fund to work with community groups and the voluntary sector to help struggling residents. A £50,000 boost to the local economy – also using SPF money — will see grants to encourage new town centre shops.
More government money will go towards preventing homelessness.
Planned savings will come from phasing out grants to parish councils and charging for garden waste collections like neighbouring local authorities already do. These measures would be from next April if the full council agrees.
Erewash will also bow to an Education Department plea to surrender its lease on the building that houses Sandiacre’s under-used Friesland Sports Centre. The building is on the campus of Friesland School, where the department plans a huge multi-million Pound revamp and says having a public sports facility there is standing in the way.
At the same time Erewash will get a £400,000 boost to sporting activities thanks to government Shared Prosperity Fund cash for a new 3G pitch at Rutland Sports Park in Ilkeston.
Details of the action plan are on the Erewash Borough Council website, where residents can also get further information by clicking on the cost-of-living tab.