Work is in hand to create a six-figure pot in East Suffolk to help families impacted by the cost-of-living crisis.

Council leader Steve Gallant said a “comprehensive programme” is being developed that will feature both crisis support and longer-term measures to support struggling homes.

He has asked all 55 councillors, regardless of political affiliation, to divert £1,000 of their annual £7,500 enabling communities budget – funds used for specific projects in their communities – to a new cost-of-living projects pot.

A bid of nearly £100,000 is then to be made to the Community Partnership Board to bolster that fund.

Mr Gallant said: “We know that the cumulative impact of rising food and energy costs, a lifting of energy caps, rising housing costs and increasing diesel, petrol and heating oil prices is starting to have a real impact on people’s lives.

“The programme we are building focuses on four key themes – money, food and essential items, energy and fuel, and housing.

“Each theme includes a mixture of crisis support and longer term projects to help people to maximise their income, manage debt and access the support that they need.

“We are working with key partners in the public and voluntary sector through the East Suffolk Community Partnership Board to ensure that we do not duplicate and that we maximise the impact of what we do."

Peter Byatt, leader of the Labour group, said: “We understand the team will be looking at four significant areas where support may be available; money, food, energy and fuel, and housing and we particularly welcome the workshops now being held inside the council, with local charities and local councillors to ensure all voices are heard and there are no gaps in provision or duplication of effort.

“We are fully in favour of this holistic approach that will go some way in lessening the anxiety some local residents are already feeling and we look forward to some public announcements when this additional programme of help is available.”

David Beavan, leader of the Green, Liberal Democrat and Independent group, said the group would certainly consider contributing but would not accept a permanent erosion of the £7,500 locality budgets that are so useful to the local community.