Click here for further information about the sustainable warmth programme

Please find attached on behalf of Essex County Council, a copy of the new ‘Cost of Living Support for Households and Communities,’ published today. This sets out Essex County Council’s approach to addressing the short-term response, medium-term resilience and longer-term root causes of the cost of living challenge.  The policy paper sets out a six-point plan on cost of living focused on: paying for essentials; keeping warm; eating well; money management; information, advice and guidance; and well-being.  The Council is investing around £50m in a range of projects to support households on these cost of living issues.  The projects we have undertaken so far this year along with some new announcements are set out in the policy paper.  However, this is just the beginning as we enter the winter period. We will be making more announcements over the coming weeks, including on how we will be spending the latest tranche of the Household Support Fund, worth £9.4million, from October 2022 through to April 2023.

Announcements include:

  • The aforementioned £9.4m additional support going into the Household Support Fund to focus on essential costs and support with energy hikes.
  • Launch of the new Community Winter Warmth and Welcome Programme –  a new programme supporting community organisations, partners, and our own services to provide additional activity in local places so that people can keep warm whilst engaging in an activity. This includes a new £100,000 grant scheme (from the community challenge fund) to be made available to community groups to come forward with their ideas which we will grant fund up to £1k.
  • Sustainable Warmth Programme –  click here  – we have secured a further £17m of government funding – administered through the South East Energy hub to help households make improvements to secure energy efficiency – this money is available from October – and can pay for insulation and other energy saving improvements.
  • Information, Advice and Guidance: as well as funding citizens’ advice and other agencies to provide support services, we are also providing a central resource that pulls together advice and guidance for residents and are signposting to top tips to help people maximise use of their money and we have set up a collaboration with HSBC to provide free webinars for residents on financial planning and financial health checks to support people to manage their budgets through the cost of living pressures. We are also working with the DWP on additional support tools.

“The cost of living challenge is an area where we are working closely together as system partners.  As we move into the challenging winter months, we want to ensure that we co-ordinate even more closely.  Further details will follow.  We will share the work we are doing with each other and to co-ordinate new announcements we can make collectively, to ensure that our response to the cost of living challenge meets the needs of our residents and businesses.”