Businesses across Haslemere facing huge energy price hikes next month have called on the new prime minister, Liz Truss, to outline urgent plans to tackle the impending crisis.

High street retailers in Haslemere will be hit hard, with the Haslemere Bookshop facing a five-fold increase in its electricity tariffs in October.

Schools across the area are also braced for massive energy bill hikes.

Woolmer Hill School is set to face a 426 per cent increase in its electricity bill and a 629 per cent increase in its gas costs in October, while Rodborough School faces a 630 per cent increase in its electricity bill and a 548 per cent increase in its gas costs.

Haslemere and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce president Craig McGowan said: “I am hoping the government starts getting its act together and puts the economy on to a more war-time style footing. I’m not asking for anything so drastic as Second World War measures.

“While businesses and people, generally, can do their bit, it is at government level that the real economic and fiscal muscle needs to be flexed.

“Reducing or capping the energy costs will be the main weapon that can be employed. The government, and the country as a whole, needs to accept this cost in supporting Ukraine and defeating the tyranny that is emanating from Russia.

“By offering that level of support to business, it will ensure there will be a strong economic base ready to expand once the current situation has been overcome.”

Haslemere Bookshop owner Ian Rowley is also calling for action from the government to tackle rising energy costs.

Mr Rowley said: “At The Haslemere Bookshop we are expecting our electricity tariffs – our only source of energy – to jump five-fold at the start of October. This would add about £10,000 per year to our costs so we are acting to reduce energy use and cut any other costs we can – including working with fewer staff and investing in energy saving technology.

“We are also relying on book sales holding up – in the face of the cost-of-living squeeze on our customers – to pull us through. This will be more difficult for businesses which are more energy intensive than us.

“This is an emerging crisis for business which warrants big action from government now.

“I’ve shared the challenges we face with The Booksellers’ Association – which is lobbying government on behalf of booksellers across the country.”