As the cost of living crisis bites, community leaders in Ross have stepped up to provide a warm space for those struggling to heat their homes.

Deputy mayor Bev Pope, along with former mayor Jane Roberts BEM, and community garden champion Tim Shelly are spearheading an initiative to help stave off the worst effects of rising fuel and energy prices. Using the working name “Warm Rooms” or “Community Cafe”, the plan is to provide somewhere each day for people to come and keep warm.

The plan is to nail down the details of the scheme at the next full council meeting on October 10.

The Gazette ran an online poll last month, which asked how the cost of living crisis had impacted readers. Only a third of people said they would not have to make any cutbacks whatsoever, with 44 per cent saying that they’ll be cutting back on non-essential purchases, 22 per cent of people said they would be cutting back on key essentials.

This roughly falls in line with national statistics, with 23 per cent of UK wide participants saying they have had to cut back on key essentials, 43 per cent having to tighten their belt with non-essential purchases, and 29 per cent not having to make cut-backs.

National papers have said that Britain is experiencing the worst cost of living crisis in a generation. This has driven the fastest fall in real pay since records began.

The team doing this are veterans of community organising; Cllr Jane Roberts BEM spearheaded much of the community organising work during the pandemic and Tim Shelly received an award earlier this year recognising all the good the community garden has given to Ross-on-Wye residents.