Oxford City Council has written to the Government on behalf of residents and businesses to call for further assistance to support households and firms through the impact of the Cost of Living crisis.
In the letter, Leader of Oxford City Council, Councillor Susan Brown, addresses the impact on households and also the effect of increasing and “unsustainable” operating costs on businesses in Oxford, with some businesses in the hospitality sector anticipating a 300% increase in energy bills and a prediction that 70% of pubs nationally could close.
The Council heard from one business in Oxford it was facing a predicted increase in energy costs of 486%, taking the electricity bill alone to nearly £60,000 a year.
Councillor Brown said there had been a failure to acknowledge the true scale of the challenge facing local businesses, already struggling to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, warning this “could conclude in a winter where many thousands of people become unemployed as businesses downsize or permanently close”.
Councillor Brown added businesses were reliant on an immediate response from new Prime Minister Liz Truss, saying: “Any organisation or entity with property and production costs is in trouble. Nurseries, community centres, manufacturers, research institutions, pharmacies, public services, museums, charities and galleries. They all form an important part of an eco-system that makes up our local economy. They hold our community together.”