Glasgow to establish 'warm banks' over winter amid energy bills crisis

The move would see council buildings used to allow people to keep warm.

Glasgow to establish ‘warm banks’ over winter amid energy bills crisis iStock

Warm banks – where people unable to afford their energy bills can avoid the cold – are set to be established in Glasgow.

Plans are being brought forward by Green councillors in the city in response to the cost of living crisis.

The party is seeking to take action as it warned of the risk of people becoming severely unwell or freezing to death this winter.

A motion is being brought forward by the Greens at Glasgow City Council to establish heated community facilities where people can to to keep warm if they are not able to do so at home.

If passed, it would see the Council asked to set up a network of warm banks that includes its own buildings and those of arms-length bodies such as Glasgow Life.

It could include buildings from faith communities and from the third sector.

The Greens have stated in the motion that the network should be “as extensive as possible”.

It also underlines the need for information about the network to be as accessible as possible.

Citizens Advice Scotland has previously warned that a combination of soaring energy bills, rising inflation and high interest rates will cause people to freeze or starve this winter.

The UK Government has been urged to take action to help struggling households.

At her first PMQs on Wednesday, newly-appointed Prime Minister Liz Truss promised that she will take “immediate action” to help people with the cost of their energy bills.

Truss told MPs that she will make a statement on the issue in the House of Commons on Thursday.

Blair Anderson, Scottish Greens councillor for the Partick East/Kelvindale ward, insisted that all levels of government must do what they can to prevent the crisis from escalating further.

“The cost of living crisis is turning into a potential humanitarian disaster,” said Anderson.

“During the summer heatwaves, I had constituents telling me that they were scared to use fans for fear of the bills.

“Extreme weather is becoming the norm and if there’s a cold snap, there is a real chance that people will become severely unwell or even freeze to death this winter.

“Every level of government needs to be doing what they can to stop this crisis escalating even further and to save lives this winter.

“That’s why this motion is coming today at Glasgow City Council and why Greens in government are freezing rents, banning evictions and putting billions into cost of living relief”.

The Green councillor criticised the UK Government over its “inaction” on the crisis.

However, he said he hopes Glasgow will play its part in keeping people warm over winter.

Anderson said: “The powers that we need to really turn things around – like bringing energy into public ownership and undoing price hikes – sit with a Tory government at Westminster who’ve been AWOL all summer.

“Greens have been calling on the Tories to take that radical action we need to see and if they’re not up to the task, they should let us have the powers we need to do it for ourselves.”

He added: “I’m sick of having to spend so much time and money mitigating the impacts of a government who doesn’t care whether the most vulnerable in our society live or die.

“We can’t accept warm banks as just another feature of our failed social security system, like we’ve seen with food banks over the past decade of austerity.

“But in the face of inaction at Westminster, I hope today Glasgow will play our part in keeping people warm and safe this winter.”

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