A local authority is stepping up help to residents hit by the cost of living crisis.

Blackburn with Darwen Council boss Cllr Phil Riley said there was much it needed to do as prices continue to rise.

He told the borough's Council Forum on Thursday: "National circumstances are of course going to present us with more challenges – with the cost of living crisis especially at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

"Energy bills, fuel and people’s weekly food bills are all continuing to go up, with further rises expected as we go into Autumn, but we obviously don’t want people to struggle.

"There is a wide range of local and national help and areas of support available in the borough, delivered by us and our partners in the charity and voluntary sector, around money and debt, homes and housing, fuel costs, food, gambling, and work and employment; and our financial resilience campaign has been running since February providing vital signposting for residents.

"We are working closer than ever with our partners to make sure our hardest to reach residents get the help and support they need.

"The Household Support Scheme for families and children and other vulnerable adults - who may or may not meet the threshold for benefits but may be affected by the cost of living crisis – is continuing for people to get support with utility bills, food and other essentials.

"The scheme was due to run until the end of September but has now been extended beyond that, meaning we will be able to offer more help as we move into the winter with further expected price rises.

"There is also our Help Hub, started in March 2020 in response to the first pandemic lockdown, which is still online and can still help with food banks, credit unions, and lots more.

"We will continue to work hard to support our vulnerable residents while keeping the borough on its upward trajectory."