In direct response to this, we have created our 'Supporting You' campaign, which we are proud to be delivering in partnership with the Observer Series and other local organisations.

The aim of the campaign is to highlight the support that is available from government, your local councils, and local partners. This includes help with finances; health and wellbeing; household bills; housing; and support for businesses. It's about working together to support one another at what is a very difficult and challenging time.

One of the biggest concerns for both residents and businesses is the cost of their energy bills, which is a key focus of our campaign. Last week, the government set out details of its 'Energy Bill Relief Scheme' for businesses, charities and other organisations. Under the scheme wholesale energy prices will be capped for all organisations for six months from 1 October. The savings will begin to appear in November's bills and will be applied automatically.

The government has also already announced plans to help households. Measures include introducing an energy price guarantee which will replace the existing energy price cap. Under the new price guarantee, a typical household can expect to pay about £2,500 a year. However, this does not take account of other factors such as how many people are in a house, the type of property and how much they are using their heating. All of this makes a difference.

All households will also be given a one-off £400 discount on their fuel bills from October. In addition, £650 will be paid to more than eight million low-income households who receive many benefits or tax credits. Further payments of £300 to pensioner households and £150 to disabled people will also go ahead. Vulnerable families can also claim help through the Household Support Fund, the Warm Home Discount scheme and hardship funds run by energy companies. You can read more about this support on our Supporting You web pages. We have also extended our Discretionary Energy Rebate Scheme to support residents with utility arrears. You can find more about this on our  or you can call us on 01243 534509 or email benefits@chichester.gov.uk

As part of our campaign, we have also produced a useful leaflet, which you can find Supporting You web pages. As well as providing information on energy tips; support for the vulnerable; and help with finances; we have also provided a list of useful contacts of organisations who may be able to help you.

From this week, we will also be answering your questions through a series of videos filmed with our staff, to show you the range of support that is available. We do not want anyone to struggle in silence. We are here to support you and if we can't assist you directly, our aim is to put you in contact with an organisation who can.

The campaign is also about supporting our local businesses - and we can all play our part in this by trying wherever possible to spend our money locally. I'd also like to thank the Observer Series who as part of this campaign have also agreed to highlight discounts that local businesses are offering to assist people with cost-of -living pressures.

Thanks also go to our other partners: Chichester and Arun Citizens Advice; Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester; Chichester Business Improvement District; Chichester Chamber of Commerce; our local business associations across the district; and West Sussex County Council. We will be shining a light on how these organisations are helping you within our campaign.

Over the coming weeks, I will keep you well informed on our progress and look forward to telling you more about our 'Supporting You' team which will be launched in the months ahead.

Best Wishes
Cllr Eileen Lintill
Leader of Chichester District Council