BUSINESSES, schools, care homes and local services need extra support to keep the lights on in the face of spiralling costs, councils in Wales have said as they called on the UK Government to take action.

The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) represents the 22 local authorities in Wales, as well as the fire and rescue services and the three national park authorities.

In the face of spiralling living costs and soaring energy bills – with the price cap set to rise again in October –  the body has called on the UK Government to do more to support local services which are now struggling to pay the bills. 

Torfaen council leader and WLGA finance spokesperson Cllr Anthony Hunt said: “Councils are doing their utmost to support local communities in the face of the challenges which will be faced by many residents due to spiralling costs of living.

“Over 90 per cent of eligible households have now received their £150 payment to help with energy bills.

“But action by the UK Government is required now to mitigate the impacts of huge energy price increases for local services, local businesses, and local communities.”

And the WLGA’s deputy leader and spokesperson for the economy – Swansea council leader Cllr Rob Stewart – said: “The impacts of the unfolding cost of living crisis will be felt by our local schools, community centres, care homes and communities.

“The UK Government needs to act now to ensure our children, elderly, and communities are safe and warm this winter and beyond.

“This could see energy costs for local services rise by £100 million this year.

“Our local businesses will also be facing huge energy price rises making them unsustainable and uncompetitive with partners in EU countries where governments are acting to protect citizens and businesses from extortionate and unmanageable energy bill rises.

“It’s imperative that the UK Government acts immediately.”