Chudleigh Town Council is opening up their Town Hall as a safe, warm space this autumn/winter, from Tuesday 6 September. The rest centre will be open between 6pm and 9pm on most evenings as a drop in facility so users can stay for as little or as long as they like. It can’t be available every evening since the council also needs the room for council meetings and for existing hirers. They will be supplying hot beverages free of charge and callers will be able to use the attached kitchen. It will be open to anyone who wants to use the facilities but under 18s will need to be part of a family group.
The Mayor, Victoria Hadley, explained “We are doing this because councillors are very aware that the increase in utility prices, coupled with a high rate of inflation will leave many families under severe financial pressure. Whilst the government is taking some action to mitigate this the truth is that residents are going to face electricity and gas prices double what they were last winter”
Initially, the drop in will provide warmth, drinks and company. However, over time it will develop and change. The council have never done anything like this before so, beyond the basics, they don’t know what residents will want and need. How the warm space develops will be very much in the hands of the people using it. The message from the council to their community is: if you need us, we are here.
We’re interested to know if any more councils will be offering a warm space to help their communities through the cost of living crisis this winter; please do tell us about your plans.
Our conference on Wednesday 5 October includes an open session workshop to discuss the cost of living crisis and how councils can help so do book a place to join the session! Funds like the Growing Communities Fund may help any projects.