A council is facing calls to scrap a project to paint murals celebrating local history, so the money can be used to help people cope with the cost of living crisis.

Breckland District Council (BDC) is spending £34,000 on the 'Memoirs through Murals' initiative, which will see three pieces of public art created in Dereham.

But Harry Clarke, Labour councillor for Dereham Withburga, said the scheme should be cancelled or postponed so the funding could be used to help support local people facing soaring bills, especially for energy.

However, the council said the project cannot now be stopped and that the authority was already doing a great deal to help people through the crisis.

The mural scheme is part of BDC's 'market town initiative' (MTI), which has already seen a painting created on the side of Thetford's Dad's Army Museum, depicting the classic TV series.

Other strands of the initiative have seen more street cleaning in Breckland towns, new lighting and street furniture.

Mr Clark, said he was "reluctantly" asking the authority to postpone or cancel the Dereham projects.

"It is an understatement to state we are, and will be, in exceptional times economically, which will be very difficult for many - and that is now compounded by the lifting of the energy price cap," he added.

Mr Clarke acknowledged the council already does a lot to support people, including through the Mid Norfolk Foodbank, but went on: "We know what is coming down the road. We will need to marshal more such resources to support a much wider range of residents than we have supported before."

Sam Chapman-Allen, the leader of BDC, said the authority had already taken steps to address the cost of living crisis locally.

He outlined how it had the region's lowest district council tax, and cited a £1m investment in community programmes and funding for low-cost food shops.

He said the council could not withdraw from existing commitments or "arbitrarily break contracts".

"The council needs to continue to play a positive role in investing in growth, supporting residents and businesses to thrive, and working with partners to lever in money to our towns and villages," he said.

"It would be short-sighted in the extreme to stop investing in the future now."