As the colder weather approaches, there is some suggestion that public buildings could act as ‘Warm Space’. Although we have just experienced a heatwave, autumn will soon be upon us. Many individuals and families are concerned about the cost of living increases and their ability to heat their homes to stay warm over winter. We may be fortunate to experience a mild winter, but we may not. A cold winter would increase the pressure on those already struggling.
It is possible people may turn to public buildings such as libraries, museums and village halls to keep warm, as suggested in these articles by the Guardian and Telegraph. There are a number of organisations considering schemes like this across the country as a way to help people stay warm during the day or even in the evenings.
We are not aware of any principal authority led ‘warm space’ initiatives at present in Devon, but we are interested to know if any of our member councils were looking to do similar activities. We have already heard from Chudleigh Town Council, who will be offering the rest centre at the Town Hall as a warm, safe space from autumn onwards.
For councils considering this, there are funds (such as the Growing Communities Fund) which could support this activity. If you are planning to provide a ‘warm space’, either directly or through a partnership project then please let us know about it.
We’d also love to hear about any other schemes that you may be putting in place to help your communities cope with the cost of living crisis whether you’re able to offer practical solutions, circulate information or are providing emotional support. Please do let us know, we’d love to build a picture of how Devon’s councils are responding to the situation.