More than half of local councils in England are planning “warm spaces”, where people can shelter from the cold this winter amid soaring energy costs.
But not in Croydon, where the borough’s cold-hearted Mayor, Jason Perry, has decided that the cash-strapped council cannot afford to open the doors of its public libraries or other buildings to offer some community-minded respite.
A survey by charity Save the Children found that out of 355 councils in England and Wales, at least 194 are directly involved in, or supporting local groups to open, warm spaces designed to take financial pressures off local residents and vulnerable groups. Many councils have spent thousands of pounds on grants to fund initiatives, with warm spaces being set up in libraries, leisure centres, theatres, art galleries, museums, children’s centres, churches and other community facilities.
“We are planning as much support as financially possible during a winter likely to be dogged by huge energy bills, a deepening recession and heightened risk of homelessness,” The Municipal Journal quoted a “senior councillor” as saying.