Cole-Hamilton sets out plan to help families with housing and childcare costs


Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today used a visit to Pennywell Pantry in north Edinburgh to highlight how the party’s councillors will deliver for families worried sick about the cost of living crisis.

The party’s priorities at this election include:

  • Raising and accelerating national targets in order to build thousands more homes for social rent.
  • Extending free early learning and childcare to cut costs and give families the flexibility, holiday options and wraparound provision they need.
  • Supporting children through breakfast clubs available to everyone who would benefit, removing hunger as a barrier to learning.
  • Making sure every child has access to connected technology after many were left without devices during remote learning.
  • The creation of a permanent nationwide Holiday Fun Fund and guaranteed access to life-changing activities outside of school.

Pennywell Pantry, run by the charity Community Renewal, is a dignified way to get food for low-income families in Muirhouse and West Pilton, which aims to offer a wide range of fresh and store cupboard food. The Pantry is currently fully subscribed though anyone is welcome to sign up to the waiting list for the next opening.  

Mr Cole-Hamilton said: 

“Pennywell Pantry is a fantastic community initiative that helps so many individuals and families in need. In the middle of the biggest fall in living standards since the fifties, it saddens me but does not surprise me how in demand their services are. 

“Their work shows how important it is for people making decisions to be embedded in the communities they serve. It is just five miles from here to St Andrews House but it can feel like another universe.

“Scottish Liberal Democrat councillors will get to grips with what really matters right now which is the cost of living crisis.

“Together we are determined to get extra help to families, including on housing and childcare. Those bills can be just as frightening as the gas bill.

“Every Scottish Liberal Democrat elected on May 5th will offer new hope for communities across Scotland.” 

Sheila Thomson - Community Renewal’s Regional Director for the East - adds:  

“The pantry is one of many services Community Renewal offers from our community hub on Pennywell Rd. In addition to providing affordable food and household items, we also support residents with practical advice on a range of issues including employment, health and wellbeing and community matters. 

“We are delighted to welcome Alex today and are especially keen for him to meet some of the committed volunteers who provide such a friendly welcome and safe environment for all the pantry members.”  


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