A new call has been made by a senior councillor in Stafford Borough for residents to get in touch if they are worried about their homes being too cold.
Councillor Jeremy Pert, Cabinet Member for Communities and Health at Stafford Borough Council, made the call after the Prime Minister announced another national lockdown - including schools being closed – with the latest measures expected to stay in place until at least mid-February.
The move will see thousands more children and parents spending longer in their homes – which will lead to increased energy bills to combat the cold conditions or living in accommodation that is not properly heated.
The council has now renewed its call, urging families to get in touch immediately for help and advice about keeping their property warm.
The council works in partnership with local charity ‘Beat the Cold’ to deliver its Warmer Homes Stafford scheme, helping residents get access to funding to repair, replace or install central heating systems, help with switching energy provider to cut costs, or advice on reducing debts. The charity has adapted to operate many of its services remotely, so it can still provide essential support despite lockdown measures.
Around 10% of households across the borough are living in fuel poverty meaning their homes are not being effectively heated this winter, with numbers expected to rise as a result of Covid-19. According to the Government’s latest annual report on fuel poverty, 43.5% of fuel poor homes nationally are estimated to have children living in them. This equates to over 1 million children in the UK living in fuel poverty.
And with a combination of schools having to close and freezing temperatures many children across the borough will be staying in cold homes for more hours of the day.
Councillor Pert (pictured) is urging families to get in touch with Warmer Homes Stafford now. He said: “My concern is now schools have closed children will be spending more time in cold housing, a well-known factor for exacerbating a number of health issues whilst also impacting on their learning despite the skills and adaptability of their teachers.
“Some families will be in a situation where they’ve never needed to ask for help before or thought they could be eligible, but it’s so important that people who can access help to improve heating in their home know where to find it.
“There are a whole host of funding and services currently available to our residents through Warmer Homes Stafford. Now is the time for people to act and receive the help they need to stay warm and safe in their homes.”
Get in touch with Warmer Homes Stafford by calling Freephone 0800 677 1785 or visiting www.warmerhomesstafford.org.uk
Press Release No 5718