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Budget proposals that would see people helped out of poverty supported by committee

11 January 2024

Budget proposals that would see people helped out of poverty and improved library space for our communities, were scrutinised and supported by most CoSMIC committee members – who today (Thursday, 11 January) recommended them to Cambridgeshire’s Full Council meeting in February.

The Communities, Social Mobility and Inclusion (CoSMIC) committee has a significant role in helping people out of poverty and income inequality. This is why, in anticipation of the ending of the Household Support Fund from government at the end of March, the council plans to prioritise:

  • £2.2 million into an Anti-Poverty Strategy and action plan in 2024/25. This will be a collaborative piece of work with our public, voluntary and community sector partners. The council will lead the development of a place-based Cambridgeshire Anti-Poverty Strategy and it will be informed by those who have experienced the impact of poverty on their lives.

Another key proposal from the CoSMIC committee is its critical role in supporting the council to work in a way that is closer to our communities. Our libraries play a vital role in providing spaces for people to meet, to stay warm, to engage in activity, to access support from a range of services. The council plans to prioritise:

  • £1.32 million to improve our libraries. Working in partnership with the Assets and Procurement committee we propose to rationalise our office estate whilst investing in our libraries to create more suitable spaces in more libraries, to deliver a broader range of services to meet the needs of our communities and to provide drop down work-places for employees. Furthermore, the recent Libraries of Sanctuary award illustrates how libraries are developing and supporting asylum seekers and those seeking refuge in the county, this is something the council wants to build on through this proposed investment.

Members of the Strategy, Resources and Performance Committee agreed to debate the proposals put forward in December, at all the council’s January service committees, as well as launching an online public survey ( and seeking views of Town and Parish Councils, public sector authorities, business leaders and, most importantly, from residents.

Cambridgeshire County Council’s proposals for its 2024/5 budget is being called ‘the toughest year to set a balanced council budget’ whilst the council is looking to support vulnerable people and improve highways maintenance and seeking to bridge a remaining £2m gap.

Cllr Tom Sanderson, Chair of the Communities, Social Mobility and Inclusion Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “As the Quality-of-Life Survey showed, there is significant concern around the current cost of living crisis, with 86% of residents being concerned and 47% of those having made a change because of this, such as limiting heating, food or medicines. Therefore, delivering on this ambition has never been more key, which is why we’re proposing £2.2m to deliver anti-poverty initiatives and £1.3m into more accessible libraries to support vulnerable communities.

“The council is looking at ways we can collectively invest in services which support people and by prioritising funds through investment, especially in the anti-poverty work we want to make sure that people who receive council services are receiving all the welfare benefits they are entitled to.”

The views of all committees, those drawn from the online survey and meetings with groups including Town and Parish Councils, business leaders and trade unions, will be combined before the S, R &P committee makes a final recommendation at its meeting on 30 January to Full Council, which then meets to debate and agree the Council’s budget on 13 February.

For more information on the council’s proposals for the coming year visit - Consultation begins on Cambridgeshire budget proposals ahead of ‘toughest year’ for local councils - Cambridgeshire County Council