Council to create spaces for people who can’t afford to heat their home

Bristol City Council plans to launch “warm places” in October

Big Zero Report 2022

A local authority has signalled the creation of spaces in public buildings designated to warm people who cannot afford their energy bills amid cost of living crisis.

The idea of “warm banks” was mentioned yesterday in a tweet written by Martin Lewis, Founder of Money Saving Expert.

Mr Lewis said: “Can’t believe I am writing this, but I wonder if this winter we will need ‘warm banks’, the equivalent of ‘food banks’ where people who cannot afford heating are invited to spend their days at no cost with heating (eg. libraries, public buildings)?”

Commenting on the proposal, Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees said: “Completely true. The sad reality is we have been actively organising a citywide network of warm places, we call them “welcoming places” for Bristol.

“We plan to have them set up by September, ready to open in October.”

In recent weeks, analysts painted a dire picture of the potential level of the winter price cap. 

During a general council meeting last month, the Mayor of Bristol said: “It almost sounds like a wartime, but we will be working with community organisations and partners around the city to set up warm places that people can go to if they need to, come the autumn when people need to turn their heating on again.”

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