Call to action on cost of living in West Lothian

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Work to help tackle the cost of living is top of the agenda for a group of community partners in West Lothian.

The impact of rising costs has been felt by large numbers of people across the country. In August 2022, inflation rose to 10.1 per cent, the highest rate in the last 40 years. Rising oil and gas prices, disruption in global supply chains and high inflation are just some of the main drivers behind the hardships being felt within communities.

The West Lothian Community Planning Partnership (CPP) is a collective group of local organisations which includes West Lothian Council, Community Planning Partners and representatives from the Third/Voluntary Sector. At their latest meeting they reaffirmed their commitment to helping where they can.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A short life working group is being set up to look at opportunities to support local people affected by the cost of living crisis in West Lothian. A Cost of Living Crisis Conference will also be held soon.

Stock photo by John Devlin of a Cost of living protest held in Glasgow earlier this year.Stock photo by John Devlin of a Cost of living protest held in Glasgow earlier this year.
Stock photo by John Devlin of a Cost of living protest held in Glasgow earlier this year.

Depute Leader of West Lothian Council Kirsteen Sullivan said: “What’s clear is that the rising cost of living is going to present enormous problems for households the length and breadth of the UK.

“The scale of the challenge to help tackle these issues at a local level should not be underestimated, especially as funding available to local authorities is limited. The fact is many of the most effective long-term interventions for alleviating poverty sit with national governments, most notably in Westminster. However, we can’t focus on what we can’t control, the council is focusing on what we can do to improve the situation in West Lothian and all agencies must work together to make progress.

“This is very much a call to action. A co-ordinated approach from across a wide range of partners is required to ensure that no stone is left unturned and that we address any barriers that may be preventing us from working together effectively.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We are looking at what other initiatives can be put in place locally, including information sessions, held across West Lothian, on key topics that will provide local people with direct access to information and support.

Councillor Kirsteen Sullivan.Councillor Kirsteen Sullivan.
Councillor Kirsteen Sullivan.

“This crisis is complex and wide-ranging and that’s why new initiatives, ideas and partnership working is required, and quickly.”

From April 2021 to March 2023, West Lothian Council has made a total of £461,000 available to provide direct assistance to local residents to try and mitigate the impact of fuel poverty. A range of other support will be made available during the winter months through Feeling the Pinch fund, and additional funding for winter clothes.

The West Lothian Advice Shop is also on hand to provide advice and support to local residents on a wide range of subjects. One of the key areas of work is the Income maximisations service that seeks to improve the uptake of financial and other support with rising costs. It is estimated that £15 billion of social security benefits go unclaimed every year and 45 per cent of people have never checked their entitlement.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

If you need support with the increasing costs of living you can contact the Advice Shop to see what support is available to you. You can request a referral online at or call 01506 283 000.