The Bishop of Leicester, as convenor of the Churches Together group and a member of the House of Lords, has written to MPs within Leicester and Leicestershire and the City and County Council leaders asking to meet them.
The approach to MPs and the Council leaders follows another letter which was sent to churches in Leicestershire by the leaders of the Christian denominations within Churches Together in Leicester and Leicestershire to their many hundreds of worshipping communities thanking them for all their volunteer work helping people hit by the cost of living crisis (click here to read).
Given the great efforts many churches have gone to in order to offer warm spaces, or to support and run food banks, our local Christian leaders wanted to thank them, and to acknowledge their concerns about the larger political and socioeconomic issues behind the individual cases of need and suffering which they encounter.
With that in mind, Bishop Martyn wrote to MPs within Leicester and Leicestershire and the City and County Council leaders asking to meet them in the hope of encouraging them to act upon the churches’ concerns, which include:
- Unfair sanctions and deductions from the Department for Work and Pensions which are forcing people to rely on food banks.
- The need for more support for farmers to deal with rising input costs.
- Rising energy prices globally could drive up to 120 million more people worldwide into extreme poverty.
The denominational leaders are asking the following:
- For Leicester City Council to do more to reach the 10,000 households in the city who are eligible for the Energy Support Scheme but have yet to sign up for that help.
- For the County Council to do more to reach the 7,000 households in Leicestershire who are eligible for, but have not redeemed, Energy Support Scheme vouchers.
- For local MPs to lobby the Government for:
· morte support for farmers to deal with rising input costs
· a review of Universal Credit so it ensures people can afford the essentials
· urgent humanitarian aid for countries facing extreme famine in the East of Africa and Horn of Africa