All possible help in place for pensioners and young children in need in South Tyneside
Council chiefs stressed they are doing all they can to support vulnerable residents during the cost of living crisis and urged households to claim all the aid they are entitled to.
South Tyneside Council’s leader Councillor Tracey Dixon said they are directing “any resources they have” to help pensioners and young children in need, and praised the authority’s welfare support team.
However she also called for more support from Government to help protect residents in the borough.
It came after Councillor Eileen Leask asked what was being done to help pensioners and people in poverty in South Tyneside during a question and answer session with the leader.
Cllr Leask, Horsley Hill ward representative, said: “There are some people in this borough who are being forced to pay extra money for lots of things, and I don’t think pensioners are being given very much by this Government.”
Council leader Cllr Dixon said they have a welfare support team in place and continue to push forward with their Poverty Truth Commission, along with working with other organisations to provide help where possible.
The Whitburn and Marsden councillor said: “We are directing any resources that we have towards our most vulnerable, getting them through this cost of living crisis.
“It is a challenge and my heart goes out to everybody, but our most vulnerable are really, really suffering.
“It all comes down to the Government, if they give us more money we will make sure that money goes to the right people.”
She added the local authority’s welfare support team helps “around 500 people a month recover unclaimed benefits”.
Councillor Alexander Donaldson, Cleadon Park representative, stressed it is important they encourage people in need to claim any support they are entitled to.
He said: “Unfortunately there’s an awful lot of people who aren’t claiming what they’re entitled to.
“Some people out there tell me they’re still ashamed to claim benefits, that it’s not in their way. It’s not a shame at all, you claim what you’re entitled to and what we’re trying to give you.
“People should not be scared, we want everybody to have what they should get.”
The debate came during the question and answer session held by the overview and scrutiny coordinating and call-in committee on Tuesday (February 7).
Residents can contact South Tyneside Council’s welfare support service for free at [email protected] or on 0191 424 6040.