Gloucester to open public buildings to provide warmth for people struggling with heating bills by | Gloucester News Centre - http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk/
Museums, council buildings and churches could open to provide warmth for people struggling with energy bills in Gloucester this winter.
Gloucester City Council chiefs are seriously concerned about the impact the rising cost of living will have on the most vulnerable in society.
They fear the rise in energy costs will plunge many families into a position where they cannot effectively heat their homes.
To help alleviate the problem the council wants to develop its own warm places scheme to support residents during the winter months.
The scheme would welcome those who cannot afford to heat their homes and venues could include council owned premises and community buildings as well as churches and places of religious worship.
The council hopes that by visiting such places, people would not only be able to stay warm but also they may be able to access services which could help and support them with other energy related matters.
Councillors agreed to take the lead in establishing such a scheme and use its own premises and liaise with partner agencies including Gloucestershire County Council to make public venues available. This could include places such as libraries, museums and other publicly owned buildings.
Councillor Tree Chambers-Dubus (L, Moreland), who put forward the motion, said she was pleased with the Conservative Party’s amendments.
“With something like this, it’s really important we can do the best for the people. We all fear every winter about the people having to make the choice between eating or heating.
“And normally when we think about that we think about vulnerable people, elderly, people with disabilities or illnesses, this year I think the people who have that choice is going to be higher than ever.”
She said it is the council’s responsibility to work together to ensure the people affected by being in the cold have somewhere to go this winter.
Councillor Raymond Padilla (C, Matson, Robinswood and White City) said the initiative was timely and appropriate. He also said it would be useful to improve signposting to other services for residents who use the facilities.
Councillor Anne Radley (LD, Elmbridge) said she was really pleased to see the motion. She said: “It’s a really important piece of work. I know a lot of us in our wards are already looking at planning and thinking about the practicalities but we’ve got a little bit of a way to go.”
The council voted unanimously to approve the proposals.
By Carmelo Garcia – Local Democracy Reporter
Gloucester News Centre – http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk