Concern about how Pebsham residents are coping “in these hard times” has led Cllr Charlie Clark to literally put his money where his mouth is.
He has decided to set up a Pebsham Community Fund and will be digging into his own pockets to support the elderly and vulnerable in his ward.
He will use money from his council allowance but is also appealing for donations so that he can provide essentials for people he knows in need.
Cllr Clark said: “Bexhill Foodbank is helping a large number of residents in Bexhill who are in need. I am concerned Pebsham residents are not taking up this help. These are very hard times for young families and also the elderly trying to make ends meet. Increases in council tax, fuel bills, water rates, etc do not make life any easier. Being too proud to ask or accept help will not make things better.”
He told the Observer: “I am really concerned about how my residents are coping. I keep hearing so many people in my ward are struggling. I have a lot of contacts and people who tell me things. It’s probably mostly elderly people - so proud and independent they don’t want to go to the foodbank in Bexhill because they think they are losing dignity by going to charity. I hope people will get in touch with me and tell me about people in need. I will provide boxes of food and any help they need on a local level.”
Apart from donations he hope to receive from the public Cllr Clark is planning to use money from his council allowance which is paid monthly and he estimates at around £750 a month.
“I think it’s only right,” he said.
“For years I have always supported charities and made donations and done fundraising - but this is a different matter. I just feel that I know there have been so many cutbacks in the last two years and people are struggling. There are people I know bringing up disabled children who have had their cars taken away, other people had benefits reassessed and reduced, young families are trying to make a start. It is really bad at the moment. So I have been trying to think what practical thing I can do. It really does concern me.” Anyone who wants to help can call on 01424 215116.