Dawn Butler MP for Brent Central, held a Cost-of-Living Event on Friday 2nd December which exposed the level of hardship and anxiety amongst residents who are struggling to meet basic needs.
The Cost-of-Living crisis continues to deeply affect her residents and over 450 households attended to directly access advice and support from over 20 organisations and Brent Council services as people feel the crisis bite in all areas of their finances. Residents were able to understand what support is available across a wide range of concerns and to get support privately in one-to-one sessions.
The most pressing issues were rising energy bills, increased food prices, debt and housing, including no-fault evictions.
There is one topic of conversation everywhere in Brent – whether on the bus, in the doctor’s surgery or in schools - how people will survive the cost-of-living crisis. Residents are struggling in all areas of their lives and financial anxiety is high and it was evident by the sheer number of people attending Friday’s event.
Dawn Butler said, “It was a great event, I spoke to many residents who are simply not paid enough to cover essentials such as food and heat. Their wages have remained stagnant as prices spiral. I had residents coming up to me asking whether we could do this every week, there is a real need and urgency to get residents the support they need in these difficult times.
It was important for me to bring together several organisations in one place so that people can get help across the range of difficulties they face. I can’t go without also hailing the great work these organisations are providing. Pat from Advice for Renters deserves huge credit for putting this event on and getting all these organisations together. Without the tireless effort of these volunteers and organisations, I fear the support for residents in need won’t be accessed.
Without exception, we have been failed at every turn by this Conservative government. They handed out billions in corrupt contracts to their mates during the pandemic, created economic chaos with their failed policies, and have turned their backs on those households struggling to choose between heating and eating. Households are now living in cold homes to avoid huge bills and worrying where their next meal will come from and whether they can pay their rent.”