Essex County Council has unveiled a £50 million package of support aimed at helping people with the rising cost of living.

The council’s plans include providing places people can go for warmth or so-called ‘warm banks’, as well as £17 million from the Government to help households pay for insulation.

According to a council statement, a “winter warmth and welcome” campaign will provide local places for warmth over the coming winter months, and will also include a grant for local activities and funding to help vulnerable people with essential costs.

Deputy council leader Cllr Louise McKinlay (Con, Brentwood Hutton) said in the statement: “We know people across the country are struggling and many are really worried about how they are going to cope with the rise in the cost of living.

“We understand the challenges many are faced with, and tackling this crisis is a key priority for us, so people have access to the food, heating and essential items they need.”

The statement continues to say a number of support initiatives have already started, with others due to be launched from mid-October.

Further strategies that will aim to tackle the long and medium-term effects of the crisis, for example by improving access to skills and jobs, are also being considered by the council.

Cllr McKinlay said: “Our Cost of Living Support for Households and Communities plan highlights how we will be funding and mobilising support across the county – how we will help people keep warm, eat and keep well and happy this winter, and beyond. We will also be providing valuable advice and guidance to communities to help them, help themselves.

“Even though these short-term solutions will make a difference in the ‘here and now’, we recognise that it is essential that support measures are put in place to help residents become as resilient as possible so that they are more able to cope with future pressures and I will be making more announcements in the coming weeks.”

Essex County Council is hosting a summit with partners in November, aimed at ensuring all public service agencies are working together, according to the statement.