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Winter warmer scheme extended to help people

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 20, 2014

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COUNCIL chiefs have approved an extension to a ‘vital’ scheme that helps hundreds of vulnerable people stay warm during the winter.

North West Leicestershire District Council revealed that the move will allow its warms home officer to continue providing invaluable support and assistance at a crucial time of year when the effects of the cold are greatest and vulnerable people, families and carers are most in need.

Funding to extend the post has come from the Department for Energy and Climate Change, managed by Leicestershire County Council, after a plea by district council cabinet members.

Roger Bayliss, portfolio holder for housing, told the Mail: “At this time of year, it’s essential that the council provides services to support families in need, and we’ve seen already the difference that the warm homes officer has made to the quality of people lives.

“This extension will allow our warm homes officer to continue the great work carried out so far.”

Since he started the job in December 2012, warm homes officer Alex Clarke has visited or spoken to 428 households in the district and 278 properties have received some form of help in reducing fuel debt or heating costs.

He has also carried out 213 energy audits and 152 green deal assessments for residents, and helped 20 energy monitors to be set up within households.

Many hundreds more have been reached through events like the Big Energy Saving Network scheme at schools and libraries in Ashby and through advice networks like the First Contact referral scheme, which helps people who are in need of extra support.

Using money from a successful application for a county wide fuel poverty project from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, 17 boilers have been replaced and 17 emergency fuel deliveries have been made.

Residents have also received financial help totalling £4,655 in prepayment meter debt clearance vouchers and £1,250 worth of prepayment meter emergency credit grants, as well as and budgeting assistance accounts known as ‘Jam Jar accounts’.

More information on a host of ‘warm winter’ schemes is available online at http://www.nwleics.gov.uk/, by emailing customer.services@nwleicestershire.gov.uk or by calling 01530 454545

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