As the final days of summer finally give way to autumn, Member of Parliament for Norwich North Chloe Smith launched a campaign to help older and vulnerable people keep warm in the winter.
In particular, each year, many thousands of elderly people struggle to stay warm in the cold weather, and unnecessary deaths tragically occur in the winter months. During the winter of 2009-2010, it is estimated that 25,000 elderly people died in the UK as a result of the cold. And it does not need to be this way.
As the cold weather approaches, Chloe is working closely with the community in Norwich to raise awareness of the assistance available to pensioners and the simple, practical measures that can help to keep warm in the winter.
Chloe says: “It is vital that we raise awareness of the help that is available to the elderly during the winter. No one should face the choice between food and fuel. There is a range of measures ready and available from the Government and local councils that will help to ensure that homes are warm, even if budgets are tight.
“There are also lots of simple measures that can be done in the home to keep out the cold, and I will be out and about as always in Norwich to help people stay warm inside when it’s cold outside.”
‘Warm Up For Winter Events’
- Supermarket Advice Surgery in partnership with Broadland District Council- Asda Supermarket, Hellesdon on Friday 11th November from 10.30-12.00
- Collection Day- Saturday 3rd December- 12.00-14.00- Chloe will be at Oak Grove Chapel on Catton Grove Road accepting donations of blankets and hot water bottles in good, clean condition that will be distributed to elderly and vulnerable people within Norwich
- Advice and Information Stall- Sunday 4th December 11.30-14.00- Chloe will be running and information and advice stall at St. George’s Roman Catholic Church in Sprowston- All members of the public are welcome to come along and discuss their concerns about winter fuel with Chloe.
Future Events to be announced
Chloe Smith: I want to tackle one issue up-front. Yes, the Winter Fuel Allowance has gone down.
This is because of the appalling state of the nation’s finances. There is less money available than we were all previously told was available, and there are no two ways around that. I support living within our means as a country, and so I cannot argue for spending more money when it is not there.
But you might not know that this Government is actually maintaining the Labour Government’s spending plan when it comes to the Winter Fuel Allowance. Labour were planning to reduce the Allowance too, straight after the General Election. So, what you will receive this winter is what has always been budgeted for.
I am sorry it is not more; I am sorry that the last administration left the cupboard bare. So, instead, the Government has permanently increased the cold weather payment from £8.50 a week to £25 a week which Labour had not planned to do. Cold weather payments provide real help to those most vulnerable.
This Government has also introduced the Warm Home Discount scheme which helps pensioner households and others on low incomes with fuel bills. As a result, energy suppliers will increase their support for vulnerable households by £100m this winter. Contact your energy supplier to find out if you are eligible.
I am running this Wrap Up For Winter campaign precisely because we live in hard times, where I want to help people take advantage of all the information and offers available. We all know there is less money around, so it becomes even more important to use what we have wisely.
Please contact Chloe’s constituency office on 01603 414 756 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about Chloe’s ‘Warm Up for Winter’ Campaign.