As the cost of living continues to rise, Dover District Council (DDC) has announced a new plan to help residents cope with the financial challenges.

The new Labour-led Council, which took over on 4 May 2023, has marked its first 100 days in office by unveiling the Living Expenses Plan, which includes a £85,000 fund for community projects and a webpage with useful tips and resources for saving money and managing budgets.

Cllr Kevin Mills, Leader of Dover District Council, said: “We have been working hard to address the needs of the most vulnerable people in our district who are struggling with the living expenses crisis.

“Our plan is to work together with the voluntary sector to provide coordinated support and connect people with local initiatives, services and organisations that can offer practical help.”

DDC’s community team and benefit advisers will collaborate with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), and other local voluntary groups to deliver support to the communities most in need. The group includes:

  • Dover & Deal Food Banks
  • Sandwich Age Concern
  • Deal Age UK
  • Dover Riverside Centre
  • Dover Outreach Centre
  • Dover District Disability Forum
  • Homestart
  • Bechange Aylesham

The new webpage will offer advice and information on how to reduce living expenses and plan budgets during the crisis. DDC’s Community Roots van will also visit communities across the district to spread the message to those who are not online.

The Living Expenses Community Impact Fund will open for applications in October 2023. The fund is designed to support projects that help bridge the living expenses gap and is open to applicants, such as registered charities, community groups, and community interest companies.

Cllr Kevin Mills concluded: “We know this winter is going to be tough for many as the heating goes back on and food prices keep rising.

“The district’s response to the Covid pandemic in 2020/21 showed how we can work together in times of hardship to support our most vulnerable residents. Our aim is to do that again, to put in place the support people need to get through this winter.”

The Living Expenses Community Impact Fund is subject to Cabinet approval at its next meeting on 4 September 2023.

By Ed

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