Council spends £300k to keep people warm

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East Sussex will be spending an extra £296,000 on innovative projects to keep vulnerable people warm and healthy this winter.

The County Council has been given Government funding, by the Department of Health, to deliver a co-ordinated programme to tackle fuel poverty, build on cold weather planning and support people through periods of extreme weather.

The programme will be delivered in partnership with District and Borough Councils, the NHS and voluntary and community sector organisations.

Vulnerable people, including the elderly or disabled or families with children on low incomes can get support through the following mechanisms:

* Advice on keeping warm and well in winter and signposting to help from trained staff and volunteers in key agencies and local communities;

* Advice on maximising income through local money or benefit advice services; and

* A Winter Home Check service for eligible vulnerable households. It includes a full home assessment and advice on how best to keep it warm and small preventative works such as improving insulation or clearing gutters or chimneys, and providing emergency temporary heating. There is also access to advice on financial help with heating costs. For more information contact Social Care Direct 0345 60 80 191.

Cllr Keith Glazier, Deputy Leader of the Council and Lead Member for Public Health, welcomed the new funding. He said, “Keeping warm in winter and remaining healthy go hand-in-hand and it is often the most vulnerable in our community that suffer the most.

“By having a co-ordinated and planned approach, we can help prevent unnecessary deaths and illness by more targeted help, advice and support to the people who really need it.”

The Council is also providing more help and information about being prepared for the possibility of severe weather. Follow the Council on twitter at @EastSussexCC and @esccroads, where the authority will be tweeting on winter subjects using the hashtag #ESwinter.

You can also follow the Council’s winter blog at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/winterblog and follow the authority on Facebook at www.facebook.com/eastsussexcc

To find out whether day care centres, libraries or other council services are affected by winter weather, and to find out which roads are on the Council’s gritting routes visit: www.eastsussex.gov.uk/alerts

Notes for editors

Further information on keeping warm in winter can be found on our website at: www.eastsussex.gov.uk/keepwarm.

East Sussex County Council, the local NHS and the District and Borough Council’s work together to ensure health protection and health improvement for the people of East Sussex.

The Department of Health’s Warm Homes Healthy People Fund is part of a wider suite of measures which the DH and the NHS are taking to protect individuals and communities from the effects of severe winter weather. Further details can be found on their website at: http://ahp.dh.gov.uk/2012/10/26/cold-weather-plan-2012/