Posted: Thu 8th Sep 2022

Council looking to develop 25 “warm hubs” to help people in Flintshire over in winter

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Sep 8th, 2022

Up to 25 ‘warm hubs’ could open across Flintshire this winter to help people struggling with the cost of living and energy price rises.

Flintshire’s Cabinet will review a report on cost of living support schemes and a proposal to develop warm hubs in the County when it meets on Tuesday 20 September.

The recent increase in the cost of living has come at a time when a combination of factors are impacting on individuals, families, and our communities, driving more people into poverty and creating social needs that were not an issue pre-pandemic.

It is therefore important for the Council and its partners to consider what action and support should be provided to our communities to mitigate some of these impacts.

Inflation, increased energy costs, and the impact of interest rates and tax increases is contributing to what is being widely referred to as the “cost of living crisis”.

The crisis is expected to deepen over the winter and a recent poll revealed that one third of those surveyed fear they will be unable to pay their energy bills this year.

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Roberts, said: “Over the last year or so, the Council has been supporting residents in many ways. ”

“These include Well Fed Flintshire – a partnership with Can Cook and Clwyd Alyn – supplying a mobile shop service and a Meals on Wheels service.  ”

“We have also opened two community support hubs in Shotton and Holywell as well as ensuring as many residents who are eligible for financial support receive it.”

“We will be introducing more services to support our residents in these extremely difficult times.”

“These include expanding the Well Fed food service and introducing two more support hubs.”

“We will continue coordinate efforts with our partners, third sector organisations and volunteers to increase capacity and reach.”

The report also presents a proposal to introduce “warm hubs” to ease the worry for people struggling with costs, food poverty and isolation.

The proposal would see the 22 community centres in the Council’s sheltered housing schemes, as well as the community hubs in Shotton and Holywell and the community centre in the Holway become warm hubs over the winter months.

The Council said it wants to work with other organisations and centres to ensure as wide a coverage as possible.

The warm hubs would have a fridge, microwave and Well-Fed meals, giving the residents the opportunity to eat together or take their meal home with them.

Councillor Paul Johnson, Cabinet Member for Finance and Social Inclusion, said:

“It’s quite unbelievable that in the 21st Century we are having to take action to keep our citizens warm, the energy crisis is already having an impact on people in our communities and the situation out there is Flintshire is likely to get worse for those who are already struggling to make ends meet, I applaud this initiative and look forward to working closely with existing community organisations to increase the reach of this activity so that all areas of the County are adequately covered.”

Councillor David Coggins-Cogan, Liberal Democrat, said: “Personally, I’m incredibly saddened that we’re in this position.”

“We’re in the top ten richest countries in the world, and yet a local council is having to provide warm rooms for its citizens.”

“We call on the Westminster Government to urgently respond to this crisis with compassion.”

Liberal Democrat Group, Leader Councillor Hilary McGuill, added: “This is a great example of setting party politics aside.  We Liberal Democrats are working with Labour to mitigate the impact of those suffering fuel poverty.”

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