£250,000 Eastbourne emergency cost of living fund given green light

A £250,000 emergency cost of living fund has been given the go-ahead by Eastbourne Borough Councillors.

The council said £20,000 has already been paid to Eastbourne Foodbank to ensure the availability of food for those in immediate need.

Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC) David Tutt added: “Many people across the UK, including Eastbourne, are in very real and urgent need.

“We cannot solve this crisis on our own but by committing this new funding it will help alleviate some of the hardship local people are facing.

Eastbourne Borough Council leader David Tutt on Eastbourne Pier

“Let us not forget that with even greater increases in energy costs in the autumn, household bills will increase to levels that are unprecedented and deeply worrying for us all.”

EBC said it was also agreed to consult the council’s cost of living champion Josh Babarinde OBE on the ongoing distribution of the money, along with other stakeholders involved in supporting those in most need in Eastbourne.

Chief executive of Eastbourne Foodbank Howard Wardle said: “With the cost of living taking a hold on family finances, Eastbourne Foodbank is currently facing extreme food shortages as the demand for assistance increases.

“We are extremely grateful for the support of EBC in providing a first grant of £20,000 to enable us to purchase food stock to meet the demand, which has this year seen a 78 per cent increase compared to last year.

Howard Wardle from Eastbourne Foodbank

“The grant will enable us to provide three days food to approximately 1,000 people.

"Later this year the increases in gas and electricity prices will further increase pressure on our services.”