A photo from the meeting in Caernarfon

Poverty and the cost of living on meeting agenda

A response to the challenges of poverty and the cost of living crisis was on the agenda at a special meeting in Caernarfon this week.

Teams from Customers and Communities teams at Adra took part in the event and there were presentations from Iwan Trefor Jones, the Deputy Chief Executive talking about Adra’s commitment to responding to the challenges and an overview from Steffan Evans, Head of Policy at the Bevan Institute of the national situation.

A recent poll by the Bevan Institute showed:

  • That 6% of respondents had to go without basic items
  • 39% have gone without heat in their homes
  • 18% do not take a bath or shower
  • 24% cut down on the amount of food they bought and/or missed meals
  • 5% have visited a food bank
  • 28% of people have borrowed money
  • 30% of people say that the crisis has had a negative impact on mental and physical health.

Iwan Trefor Jones said: “Tackling poverty is a key priority for us as a company and how well we support communities and the most vulnerable during this difficult time.

“It is important that we have plans to respond to the needs of our communities.

“A number of areas in Gwynedd were deprived and suffering from poverty before the financial crisis but the increasing cost of living has intensified the problems.

We need to be progressive in this area and working in partnership is extremely important so that we can plan our response together. We need to ensure that we protect the interests of the tenants and that we have the confidence as an organisation to act and challenge on their behalf.

“We want to see the ambition poverty element change and offer hope of a better future for our communities and young people in particular. Of course improving income levels is extremely important but we must not lose sight of the need to create opportunities for communities and individuals to flourish.

Sion Hughes, Assistant Director – Customers and Assets said: “The meeting was extremely beneficial as we got colleagues together to discuss how we can contribute to our Poverty Plan and the work that is already going on as part of the Gwynedd Cost of Living Emergency Group.

“A lot of work has already been done as a result of the crisis but fresh ideas are needed and it was important to hear from our officers who deal with our customers on a day to day basis and are in a good position to know exactly what are the challenges and ideas on how to solve them.

“There were good discussions among the teams and I would like to thank everyone who attended for their commitment. All the information and ideas that were presented and shared will be considered and fed into our plans”.