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Scottish Labour-led council unveils £5m cost-of-living support fund

The £5 million fund would support families struggling with soaring energy bills. (Yui Mok/PA)
The £5 million fund would support families struggling with soaring energy bills. (Yui Mok/PA)

A Scottish Labour-led council has unveiled a £5 million support package to help local people with the cost-of-living crisis, which would see residential care charges scrapped.

Councillors in West Dunbartonshire will be asked to approve the multimillion-pound fund to help struggling residents with rising energy prices.

A £250,000 household energy fund would be introduced under the plans to help residents tackle the issue.

And non-residential social care charges would be scrapped, saving around £1 million for vulnerable people in the area.

Further cost-of-living support proposals include funding additional staff for welfare advice and business support to help residents budget through the crisis.

Families will also be supported during the school holidays with £1 million set to be allocated to enable free access to activities for children.

Scottish Labour now holds a majority in the area after securing 12 seats in the council elections on May 5.

The local authority was previously held by an SNP minority administration.

The plans also aims to deliver a £1 million help for carers package, including respite, to support unpaid carers, kinship carers and foster carers.

Another £1 million funding injection would help community groups and voluntary organisations continue, the party have said.

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Scottish Labour Deputy leader Jackie Baillie said the fund will help vulnerable families (Fraser Bremner/Daily Mail/PA)

Deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: “Like people across Scotland, the people of West Dunbartonshire are facing a cost-of-living crisis.

“That’s why the new Labour administration is prepared to take immediate and proportionate action to protect the people of the area and strengthen services.

“From tackling poverty to investing in services, ending non-residential care charging and putting money back into people’s pockets, this Labour administration is stepping up for the people of West Dunbartonshire.

“That is the difference that Labour in power makes.”

Councillor Michelle McGinty said: “I believe that everyone gets into politics to try and help improve the lives of people in their community, that is why I am immensely proud that the Labour administration are able to introduce an initial package of support that will help alleviate some of the pressures that people are facing at the minute.

“We are aware that things are expected to get worse and that is why we cannot become complacent, and we are already putting together a working group that will continue to look at measures that can be implemented to further help local people during this crisis.”