Cold weather campaign funded

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Liverpool City Council has been awarded government funding for their campaign: ‘Don’t Get Left Out in The Cold’.

The ‘Warm House Healthy People fund’ was made available for the winter 2012/13 to support local authorities and their partners in reducing death and morbidity due to cold housing in the coming winter. Liverpool’s bid received just under £300,000.

According to the Office for National Statistics, there were an estimated 24,000 deaths linked to the cold winter in England and Wales last winter. As many as 19,500 of the deaths occurred among those aged 75 and over.

The money will be spent on a number of schemes, including improving isolation and offer to help with boiler repairs and central heating insulation. Warm packs will be delivered to residents across the city.

Numbers from the Department of Energy & Climate Change show that 4.75 million out of the 26.7 million households in UK were in fuel poverty in 2010.

Councillor Ann O’Byrne said: “We want to make sure everybody who needs it receives support during the cold weather. Just by being good neighbours and calling on people who may need help can make a real difference and this funding will help us support groups who do that.

“We can also make improvements to people’s homes to keep them warm. This is a priority for us as fuel poverty is a real issue for a significant number of people in this city.”

The Housing Strategy, Healthy Homes and Emergency Planning teams will work with partners from Local Solutions to visit vulnerable housebound residents.

Chief Executive of Local Solutions, Steve Hawkins, said: “Sadly there is much evidence that more people are struggling to pay their bills and therefore find it hard to keep warm in the colder winter months. We are delighted to play some part in alleviating these real pressures on vulnerable people.”

About Arild Skjaeveland, JMU Journalism