New £50m support for Essex residents to help with the cost of living
A new raft of measures and money to help families battle against increasing cost of living pressures has been announced by Essex County Council (ECC)
The plans include £17 million of government cash to help households pay for insulation and other energy saving improvements at home, a community led ‘winter warmth and welcome’ campaign to provide local places for winter warmth over the coming months, including a grant scheme to help groups fund activities, and additional funding to help vulnerable people with essential costs.
The full range of the £50m support is outlined in the Council’s Cost of Living Support for Households and Communities Plan (PDF, 2.95MB), which aims to help those needing immediate support.
Through the plan, ECC brings together partners, charities and organisations to tackle the issues residents are facing. It also maps the wider support being delivered across the county.
The Council’s approach is based on three pillars – Response, Resilience and Root causes, along with a six-point plan to support residents.
A number of support initiatives are already underway with others due to launch in mid-October onwards. This plan will continue to evolve and will respond to the changing needs of people and communities in Essex.
While these measures will offer immediate relief to residents in difficulty, ECC is also looking at the medium and long term, building resilience and looking at the root causes of cost-of-living pressures, such as access to skills and good jobs.
Cllr Louise McKinlay, the County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community, Equality, Partnerships and Performance, said: “We know people across the country are struggling and many are really worried about how they are going to cope with the rise in the cost of living.
“We understand the challenges many are faced with, and tackling this crisis is a key priority for us, so people have access to the food, heating and essential items they need.
“Our Cost of Living Support for Households and Communities plan highlights how we will be funding and mobilising support across the county - how we will help people keep warm, eat and keep well and happy this winter, and beyond. We will also be providing valuable advice and guidance to communities to help them, help themselves.
“Even though these short-term solutions will make a difference in the ‘here and now’, we recognise that it is essential that support measures are put in place to help residents become as resilient as possible, so that they are more able to cope with future pressures and I will be making more announcements in the coming weeks.”
ECC remains committed to the goals of its Levelling Up strategy, a longer-term programme looking beyond the immediate impacts of inflation and the rising prices of essentials.
In November, Essex County Council is hosting a summit with partners to ensure all public service agencies are working together to support communities.
Further details of cost of living support available to Essex residents can be found here.