YORK'S Liberal Democrat councillors are set to propose a motion to declare a cost of living emergency in the city - and invest an extra £200,000 to support the most vulnerable.

The motion, which will be debated at next week’s City of York Council full council meeting on Thursday July 14, will note the unprecedented increase in the cost of living and the impact it is having on working people, pensioners and those on benefits.

The Lib Dems will be urging the city's councillors to support the declaration of a cost of living emergency, which would see an extra £200,000 used to distribute food and fuel vouchers to around 4,000 residents on the lowest incomes in the area.

The motion will also seek councillor support to host a local 'Cost-of-Living Emergency Summit' with stakeholders, including Citizens Advice, foodbanks, local trades unions, and Chambers of Commerce and organisations working to support residents facing hardship to further lobby the Government to address the crisis urgently.

Councillor Nigel Ayre, executive member for finance and major projects at City of York Council, said: "The cost of living crisis is spiralling out of control, with energy bills, fuel and cost of essentials skyrocketing and so many struggling to make ends meet. As a council, we’ve done as much as possible to support those struggling the most. Despite this, it’s clear that the cost of living crisis has turned into an emergency and we must do more.

“I hope that councillors across political parties will support the motion next week to declare a cost of living emergency, invest directly to support the most vulnerable and convene a cost of living summit so we can work with local charities and foodbanks to making sure no-one slips through the safety net in York.

“Whilst the council and local organisations can play a critical role, the problems facing people at the moment are massive and they require major and urgent actions from Government. We must speak with one voice to urge the Government to act now to help thousands across the city and millions across the UK suffering.”

The council has invested £1.3million to support residents facing rising costs through the York Financial Assistance scheme (YFAS) since the start of the pandemic and has provided targeted support and advice to those in most need.

But, according to data from the ONS, a typical household will have to spend an extra £1,287 due to rising cost of essentials and tax in the country in between 2022 and 2023.

Between 2021 and 2022, foodbanks in York distributed food parcels at a rate of 5,545 per 100,000 people – a 64 per cent increase compared to five years ago, according to figures from The Trussell Trust.