Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils spell out cost of living crisis action plan


Babergh cabinet member for communities, councillor Mary McLaren and Mid Suffolk cabinet member for wellbeing, councillor Harry Richardson. - Credit: Babergh / Mid Suffolk District Council

Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils are set to consider a five-point action plan to tackle the cost of living crisis.

The plan combines work already underway as well as new initiatives, like support and funding for community organisations and exploring new possible projects like fuel and travel voucher schemes to tackle loneliness.

The plan will revolve around five key areas, which are:

Cost of living, and preventing crisis

1. Co-ordinating Government support - getting help to those who need it.

2. Providing welfare support and advice to support those facing hard times. 

3.  Maximising partnership working and established systems to provide targeted support where there is a particular trend and need.

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4. Maintaining good health – such as referrals for mental health support, use of council gyms, community-led “wellbeing” initiatives.

5. Ensuring access to food and nutrition – such as healthy eating exercises/initiatives, community gardens and larders, or extra support for local food banks.

Mid Suffolk's cabinet member for wellbeing, Harry Richardson, said: “The cost-of-living crisis will hit all of us in different ways. 

"There is obviously the economic impact, but there is also the wellbeing element with people suffering from anxiety, depression and isolation and a decrease in their quality of life because of financial pressures. 

"By working in partnership with others from across the Suffolk system, we can build on the fantastic work that is already underway and ensure we are doing everything possible to help our residents through the challenges ahead.”

Babergh's cabinet member for communities, councillor Mary McLaren, said: “This plan hopefully gives residents, and our own staff, the assurance that they are not alone, and that together, our councils will do everything we can to connect systems so that people have the advice and support they need, and that communities can help each other too, through prevention and local activities."

Babergh and Mid Suffolk Election count at Trinity Park.
Keith Welham, elected for Greens in Stowupl

Green party councillor Keith Welham. - Credit: Archant

Green party councillor Keith Welham said: "Key to the success may well be the appointment of a cost of living coordinator and we urge that recruitment commences immediately.

"Also, it is essential that help reaches those in greatest need, many of whom live alone in rural areas.

"One area that should have been included in this plan is energy and Insulating homes, mid Suffolk has the expertise in house to advise residents on the best way to insulate and make homes more efficient, we should use all our service areas to help mid Suffolk residents get through the coming months."