Vulnerable households will be able to get additional support following a £100,000 investment in a programme designed to reduce death and illness due to cold weather.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s public health department has made the investment in the Warm Homes Healthy People programme, which will run until March 31.
The grant will support the local authority and its partners to deliver advice and information to residents to help them improve the thermal efficiency of their homes and to access financial support where available.
Measures taken will include benefit checks; home visits to examine fuel usage; advice and guidance sessions for community groups to promote energy efficiency; gas boiler/fire servicing; heating appliance repairs; and fitting carbon monoxide alarms.
The programme also directly supports delivery of the key aims and objectives of the city council’s Fuel Poverty Strategy 2016-2020, which was formally adopted in October last year.
This strategy aims to reduce the rate and risk of fuel poverty in Stoke-on-Trent. Its main priorities are to reduce energy consumption through behavioural change; improve building fabric and reduce cold-related illnesses; maximise household income; and increase the amount of energy generated from renewable and low carbon sources.
Fuel poverty levels in Stoke-on-Trent are higher than the national average – currently standing at an average of 12.5 per cent of households, compared to 10.4 per cent. This is due to a combination of factors, including low income and a high number of older, less energy-efficient properties in the city.
Councillor Randy Conteh, Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s cabinet member for housing, communities and safer city, said: “Fuel poverty can have a negative impact on people’s health as well as causing considerable hardship, and it’s important that tackling it remains one of the authority’s key priorities.
“The Warm Homes Healthy People programme will help the city council and its partners to reduce death and illness due to cold weather by providing support and advice to those who need it. This will help some of the most vulnerable people in the city to stay warm this winter and beyond.”
For more information about the programme, and for contact details of the partners involved, go to stoke.gov.uk/winterhealth.