COLUMN: MP Matt Western shines light on impact of high food prices on residents - The Leamington Observer

COLUMN: MP Matt Western shines light on impact of high food prices on residents

Leamington Editorial 1st Jun, 2023   0

Soaring food prices are really hurting families across our towns and villages

Many of you will have seen the inflation statistics that came out in the last week or so. Inflation has dropped to single digits for the first time in eight months to 8.7 per cent. It is still high and remains so because food inflation is over 17 per cent. While it is a relief to see these figures beginning to come down, the high levels they sit at mean people across our towns and villages are really struggling to meet the demands of the current cost of living.

There are some really awful statistics on the effects this is having on people. One study recently showed that one in six parents are going hungry in order to make sure they can feed their children. We can also see it in the way that foodbanks across the country have become a lifeline to so many people. The team at our foodbanks in Warwick District work incredibly hard to support those who need them most but donations are always needed. If you can spare a few goods, please do consider donating to our local foodbanks.

Turning to Westminster, there have been several occasions in Parliament recently where I have been able to raise issues that I know really matter locally. Firstly, I have been contacted by a large number of constituents who have been left seriously out of pocket and with no answers following taking part in the Solar Together scheme promoted by Warwickshire County Council. I raised a question to the Minister about the serious cases I’ve seen locally and asked for a meeting. I’ll be meeting with her urgently and will keep pressing on this issue for constituents. If you’ve been impacted by this scheme and haven’t been in touch, please do drop me an email on [email protected] so we can pick up your case.

In the past fortnight I had a Prime Minister’s Question and I also spoke in the debate on leasehold reform, something that I know from personal experience can be a real issue and badly burn homeowners.

When people, particularly first-time buyers, are buying a home, they’re often not aware of these leasehold agreements and think they are buying a home and will own the home. However, many discover they have bought high ground rents and extortionate service charges, often for services that they are promised but do not see delivered such as the maintenance of green space. Whilst paying these huge costs, people are expected to oblige by an overly prescriptive list of what they can and can’t do including things like not being able to fit an EV charging point or not have bicycles on the property.

There is clearly a huge need for reform and the public are calling for it. I will keep addressing these issues in Parliament and seek that we finally see some much-needed reform.

As always, please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any queries or issues you would like to raise with me. I can be reached at [email protected] or on 01926 882006.

Matt Western

MP for Warwick and Leamington


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