Councillors at Wealden District Council have agreed to earmark a £250,000 fund to help ease the current cost of living pressures for local residents and services.

The money will be put aside to support local initiatives and fund any increased service demands within the council. It will also be available for additional support for residents and businesses when needed.

There are real concerns that council services such as housing, benefits, economic development will see an increase in people, businesses and other organisations needing assistance in the coming months due to the rise in day to day living costs and expenses.

To combat that, a cross-departmental working group has been set up to monitor the ongoing situation and identify areas where additional support is needed for residents and businesses. The group will work with stakeholders including town and parish councils, voluntary organisations and community groups.

Councillor Richard Hallett, Wealden’s portfolio holder for Governance, Customer Services and HR, said, “The present cost of living crisis is beginning to impact on Wealden’s residents, communities and businesses.

“As many of the services the council provides form an important safety net to protect residents’ health and wellbeing, the setting aside of funding to react to pressures from the cost of living crisis will enable officers to act promptly and effectively as pressures arise.

“I am pleased this co-ordinated approach will help us provide support to those in our communities who are going to be hardest hit.”