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Features / Council to receive extra funding to help combat cost of living crisis

Scottish minister for local government empowerment and planning Joe FitzPatrick Photo: Shetland News

SHETLAND Islands Council is to receive a further £222,000 from the Scottish Government to help islanders alleviate ever increasing cost of living pressures.

The additional cash under the islands cost crisis emergency fund was announced by local government minister Joe FitzPatrick during a visit to Lerwick on Tuesday.

The new funding on top of an £311,000 allocation from the same pot of money announced in December last year, was welcomed by depute council leader Gary Robinson.

FitzPatrick said the government acknowledged that islanders were facing greater challenges during the cost of living crisis.

An analysis carried out by the SIC last year suggests that the costs of living in some island areas are 20 to 65 per cent higher than the UK average.

The extra funding is part of a £1 million in support going to six island local authority areas.

The SIC is required to target the funds where it will be most effective and towards people, communities and businesses who are struggling the most such as food bank grants, energy voucher, and free school breakfasts.

FitzPatrick said: “Island council leaders have seen the cost of living crisis become more entrenched in their communities.

“As minister responsible for local government, I am determined to step up and help those who need it the most even when the UK Government is turning its back on people.

“We have listened to island local authorities and are providing this £1 million of additional funding to help them target support where they have the most concerns.”

Robinson said: “The task that we have on hand is to direct it where it can make the most impact, to people that need it most.

“Similar to last year, when officers went away and devised a scheme for members’ approval, I would expect similar again this time.

“All the local agencies are looking out for people who might be struggling and directing them towards the scheme.”

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