Free laundry days and meals to tackle cost of living crisis

Thursday September 29th 2022

Midlothian Council Fairfield House Main

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Access to free meals and free laundry services are being proposed by a cost of living task force set up to support Midlothian residents.

Plans to use Covid funding to support a three-month pilot project which will provide weekly ‘wash and dry’ sessions will go before Midlothian councillors next week.

The proposal from the council’s cross party Cost of Living Task Force also calls for free re-heatable meals to be offered five days a week.

The task force, which was set up in June, to work with local groups to find ways to help people in the current crisis, says the immediate action could support an estimated 200 people a week.

A report to elected members asks them to support the immediate measures ahead of winter by using £118,000 of earmarked Covid funding.

It argues the money can be used for the projects “on the basis that it supports well-being.”

A longer term Midlothian Cares programme of support over the next three years sets out the extension of current Covid Recovery actions including an East and Heat Fund and provision of income maximisation officers as well as extending the free meals and laundry projects at a cost of just over £819,000.

The report also asks councillors to support the appointment of a Cost of Living Crisis support coordinator.

Councillors will be asked to agree to the immediate temporary measures of free laundry, free meals and a cost of living coordinator at the meeting next week.

They will be asked to note the additional proposals which are described as “potential mitigating actions Midlothian Council could take to support local people experiencing additional challenges from the cost of living crisis”

You can read the report that will be discussed at next Tuesday’s Full council meeting HERE.

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