An alliance of organisations including the council and voluntary groups is being formed in Barking and Dagenham to respond to the cost of living crisis.

A cabinet report said the move was proposed at a summit and has been backed by the authority's "social infrastructure partners".

It would see the lead organisations involved receive training so they can support residents before they get into crisis, the document added.

Deputy council leader Saima Ashraf told cabinet at a meeting last week that the alliance proposal was "bittersweet" but she was pleased the council was taking action.

It comes after a similar response during the Covid pandemic where the council worked with partners to launch BD Can, which offered emergency support.

Cllr Ashraf said the cost of living crisis is set to get worse and pointed to figures in the report that said an estimated 48 per cent of the borough's children live in poverty and almost one in four residents have less than £100 savings.

She told the meeting: "No one organisation can address the challenge that this crisis brings. It needs an urgent collective and collaborative response.

"We have a focus on two areas - bringing together the support that is available to our residents locally who are in crisis and developing a shared response to the longer term challenge of helping people out of debt crisis.

"I am pleased we are able to do something."

Cllr Dominic Twomey, cabinet member for finance and deputy leader, said the money required for the scheme was not important "within reason".

"It is so important that this is absolutely targeted at the right people," he added.

"As a council, we can only intervene so much but making use of our faith community, our community and voluntary sector, is key to this succeeding."

The alliance is proposed to be co-ordinated by the Citizens Advice Bureau, the report said, with cabinet members set to be updated on the scheme's development in October.

The report added: "Further work now needs to take place to further develop the details of this alliance model and to determine what level of resource it will require to operate."