Calls to declare cost of living emergency at East Riding Council’s full meeting

Opposition councillors are set to call for East Riding Council to declare a cost of living emergency today (Wednesday, July 27).

Liberal Democrat leader Cllr David Nolan said the call came as locals were being hit by rising prices for fuel, heating, food and other essentials. Photo submitted
Liberal Democrat leader Cllr David Nolan said the call came as locals were being hit by rising prices for fuel, heating, food and other essentials. Photo submitted

Liberal Democrats on East Riding Council have also called for a Cost of Living Summit to bring together charities, trade unions, businesses and MPs to discuss the issue.

Liberal Democrat leader Cllr David Nolan said the call came as locals were being hit by rising prices for fuel, heating, food and other essentials.

Conservative council leader Cllr Jonathan Owen said the cost of living crisis was already one of the authority’s top priorities, with £4.4m recently earmarked to support local households.

The call comes as Hull City Council declared a cost of living emergency last month.

A motion backed by Hull councillors called on the Government to cut VAT and review council measures to help those struggling.

It also comes as inflation stood at 9.4 per cent at the end of June, up from 9 per cent in May according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The East Riding Liberal Democrat motion, set to be tabled at today’s full council meeting, also calls on the Government to cut VAT to 17.5 per cent curb price rises.

The motion calls for the £20 Universal Credit uplift, introduced during the coronavirus pandemic and later cut, to be reinstated and for above inflation pension increases.

Cllr Nolan said locals were undergoing misery as inflation approaches double digits.

The Liberal Democrat leader said: “With inflation hitting double figures, the real value of our resident’s wages, benefits or pensions are being eroded.

“Meanwhile the Conservatives are turning inwards and having a leadership election, they don’t care about residents.”

Liberal Democrat Cllr Linda Johnson, who is set to second the motion tomorrow, said holding a Cost of Living Summit would make the Government sit up and act.

Cllr Johnson said: “Things are only going to get worse without Government intervention.

“Already, one in three children and one in five adults in some areas of the county are living in poverty.”

Cllr Owen said the Conservatives would table an amendment listing what the council had done to ease cost of living pressures, signalling the ruling group would not block the motion.

The council leader said: “We could hardly fail to be and are fully aware of the cost of living issues affecting residents now, and potentially even more in months to come.

“We have already, as a Cabinet at our last meeting, agreed to put aside £4.4m, which represents the equivalent of over half the money raised through this year’s council tax increase, to target support over the rest of the year to those most vulnerable, on top of any additional support that will be forthcoming from Government.

“We are living in difficult times, but I’m confident that our track record of delivering efficient, cost effective services will continue to support all our residents.”