It is feared some people could be unaware of welfare benefits available to them as just one element to be addressed by the strategy
Town hall chiefs are set to launch a new strategy to ensure vulnerable residents in Blackpool are financially resilient as they battle against the cost of living crisis.
It is feared some people could be unaware of welfare benefits available to them, are more at risk of going into debt and do not have access to bank accounts or digital tools such as money-saving websites. Now a town-wide survey is being carried out with the information set to be used in a financial inclusion strategy being drafted by the council.
Coun Neal Brookes, cabinet member with responsibility for benefits, said: “Given the current unprecedented financial pressures on individuals as a result of the cost of living crisis, inflation, rising national insurance contributions and the coronavirus pandemic, this strategy could not come at a more important time.
“We are determined to increase financial resilience and inclusion opportunities for all Blackpool residents. We really want to hear from as many residents as possible to ensure that we are supporting them in the right way.”
The strategy also includes emergency support for those in immediate financial difficulties.
A council spokesperson added: “Examples of those who experience financial exclusion are those without a bank account, poor financial knowledge, debt or low income or unemployment. Although financial exclusion is not just about lack of money, it is also influenced by various interconnected factors such as digital access, age, gender, ethnicity and health.
“The strategy aims to make sure residents are aware of what financial help or benefits they are entitled to, make sure they understand any terms of a financial agreement, as well as help people become financially resilient to ensure they are able to manage money better and avoid debt.”
Around a quarter of working age residents in Blackpool claim Universal Credit while just more than 12 per cent are digitally excluded.
Residents are invited to complete the survey on the council’s website by June 20 at https://wh1.snapsurveys.com/s.asp?k=164995106632
- 05:35, 6 JUN 2022