Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Funding available to keep West Sussex homes warmer this winter

West Sussex local authorities have been granted funding of more than half a million pounds to deliver a co-ordinated programme of winter warmth assistance this winter to help tackle fuel poverty and increase emergency response capacity during cold weather.

Adur District Council, Arun District Council, Chichester District Council, Crawley Borough Council, Horsham District Council, Mid Sussex District Council and Worthing Borough Council all successfully bid for £617,800 from the Department of Health funding.

It will fund the “Warmer West Sussex” programme. Eligible residents across West Sussex will be offered FREE home visits from qualified energy assessors, managed by Climate Energy.

The visits will offer advice on getting the best deal on your energy, how to use heating controls effectively and keeping warm and saving energy in your home. There will also be up to £50 worth of free energy saving kit provided, such as draught-proofing, hot water tank jackets and energy monitors; and a survey for insulation and free grant work (subject to criteria and availability). The home visitors will signpost a range of wider assistance such as Warm Front grant for heating and insulation.

The funding will also be used to increase capacity of local voluntary and statutory organisations. This will include funding West Sussex CABs to conduct home visit benefit checks; the British Red Cross and Parish Councils to purchase additional winter kits, and the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service to increase capacity to deliver Home Fire Safety Checks.

Others involved with supporting and targeting the project include the newly formed Wellbeing Hubs, Prevention Assessment Teams, Carer’s Support Service and Age UK. The programme will be targeted to meet the aims of the fund and will run until the end of March 2012.

Cllr Tom Wye, Worthing’s Cabinet Member responsible for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Nobody should be suffering from the cold in their own home. This initiative will help prevent this, and real practical assistance as well as very useful advice will be given. A simple phone call is all that is needed for an expert to come out and visit you in your own home and tailor the help to your own needs.”

Cllr David Simmons, Adur’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, added: “I am delighted that the District and Borough Councils in West Sussex have been successful with this funding bid.  It will enable us to help improve the lot of up to 500 less well off households across the area and I welcome the contribution the programme will make to the fight against the growing issue of fuel poverty.”