Another council considers creating “warm banks”

Lancashire County Council has agreed to look at plans for operating spaces to keep people warm amid soaring energy bills

Big Zero Report 2022

Residents in Lancashire could soon find free-of-charge heating in one of the “warm banks” expected to be launched in the region this winter.

The measure will be introduced to help those who cannot afford heating bills amid the rising cost of living.

Last week, the Mayor of Bristol confirmed that the city will launch “welcome places” in the autumn.

The idea was first articulated by Martin Lewis, Founder of Money Saving Expert.

Analysts had previously pointed to an expected rise of more than 50% compared to current bills.

A few days ago, the Chief Executive of Ofgem admitted that the rise could be larger than previously estimated. 

Cornwall Insight predicted that the price cap could rise to 64% by October 1st, meaning the annual cost for a typical customer on a standard tariff could rise to £3,364.

In a full meeting of Lancashire County Council, Councillor Gina Dowding said: “Food, shelter, warmth and community connections – these are basic human needs. Meeting those needs is what every civilised society should provide as essential to human dignity for all of its citizens, regardless of their income, job, ability, age or background.

“Warm banks are not the long-term solution to the cost of living crisis in the same way banks aren’t either. But they are necessary until we have a government prepared to introduce economic social and environmental justice.”

Andy Fewings, Green Councillor on Burnley and Lancashire Councils, said: “Today, Gina Dowding and I called for an urgent plan for Lancashire to deal with the crisis which will see people die in cold homes due to the cost of living crisis.

“We are glad the Labour and Conservative groups backed our calls and the motion passed. We expect urgent action and will scrutinise the progress and action taken closely.”

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