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Author: Becky Bowser

Free Energy Home Improvements now available to residents in Worcestershire

Free Energy Home Improvements now available to residents in Worcestershire – For more information, email retrofit@worcestershire.gov.uk

Help us spread the word about free home improvements in Worcestershire.

The Home Upgrade Grant scheme (HUGs) is designed to tackle colder homes that do not have mains gas central heating. Homeowners and tenants in Worcestershire could benefit from a variety of measures to help reduce energy bills including: internal and external wall insulation, loft and cavity wall insulation, air source heat pumps, solar panels, draught proofing and many more.

Worcestershire County Council is working in partnership with Redditch Borough and Bromsgrove, Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils and Act on Energy to deliver this programme.

Worcester City Council and Wyre Forest District Council are administering their own HUG2 scheme and information can be found on their websites.

To qualify, households must not use mains gas to heat their home, have a gross annual income of less than £31,000 with a current Home Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D to G. 

Funding is also available for landlords in the charity and private rented sector.

Those who qualify for the scheme will undergo a free technical survey to determine the most suitable energy efficiency measures.

For more information, including full eligibility, and to register your interest visit: www.worcestershire.gov.uk/home-upgrade-grant-scheme-hug2  OR  contact your local energy charity Act on Energy on their free advice line 0800 988 2881

All projects must be completed by March 2025.

What we can do:

  • Provide leaflets and/or posters for community centres, village halls, churches and organisations in your area.
  • Act on Energy, your local area energy charity, can attend relevant events that are happening in your area and provide face to face energy advice to residents including available funding and schemes.

For more information, email retrofit@worcestershire.gov.uk

News from West Mercia PCC: Panel backs PCC’s plan to deliver improvements for communities

PCC John Campion is focused on delivering improvements for the communities of West Mercia after his budget plans were supported.

The PCC secured the support of the Police and Crime Panel for the latest investments he wants to make in West Mercia Police, allowing him to build on the work he has already done to build a Safer West Mercia.

The PCC has had to make tough decisions as a result of the financial challenges the country continues to face. This has resulted in a need to refocus resources to ensure they are aimed at the areas of greatest public concern.

This includes:

  • Improved visible and accessible policing – creation of town centre policing to tackle shoplifting, anti-social behaviour and thefts. 
  • Better investigations and outcomes – improved technology to support police officers in checking for criminal activity on mobile phones and computers.
  • Improving public contact – improved call response times for the emergency and non-emergency lines, and technology to allow digital evidence to be uploaded by the public.

PCC John Campion said: “This budget has the communities of West Mercia at the heart of it. My latest investment will build on the progression I have already made in West Mercia Police and will focus on the areas that matter to the public such as how they make contact with their police service.

“This budget has come with some tough decisions and, as a result, some changes will have to be made within West Mercia Police. However, it is important that we review this, and I have worked with the Chief Constable to ensure that resources are refocused towards the areas of priority and public concern.

“I remain committed to ensuring the communities of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire feel the benefits of the decisions I make on their behalf.”

Temporary Chief Constable Alex Murray said: “Building on the investments made over the last year, this budget will support our commitment to visible and accessible policing for the people of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire.

“Due to the current national financial landscape difficult decisions have had to be made, but I want to reassure the communities we serve that we are prioritising the issues that we know matter most to them. We will continue improving the service you receive when you contact us and will keep reducing the number of victims and people impacted by crime.”

The PCC secured backing for the following proposals:

4.91% increase in the council tax element for policing. This equates to approximately £277.50 for an average Band D property (25p per week).

Warm and Welcoming Wellbeing Grants available from Malvern Hills District Council – deadline: 24th November

Warm and Welcoming Wellbeing Grants

Small grants (£50-£500) are available to organisations in Malvern Hills District to support residents across the district, by providing free spaces and places for them to go to connect and stay well over the winter period.

Grant funding is available as part of the Household Support Fund, to support community organisations across the district, this could be to provide a new service or to develop a current offer over the winter period. 

Please note, there is a finite budget available to support projects. When allocating funding, consideration will be given to the following:

  • the amount of time each project is able to open each week. We are particularly keen to support sessions that are open on evenings, weekends and school holidays, and are accessible to families, but we will consider applications for week daytime provision too.
  • we are keen to support provision that includes either hot drinks or food as part of the offer and activities that children of all ages can enjoy. 

Organisations can apply for up to £500 to support with:

  • Utility Bills, pay for energy efficient ways to keep the space warm.
  • To open up your community venue more frequently and allow greater access for families.
  • Staff or volunteer costs to open the facility
  • Set up costs and marketing.
  • Purchasing food supplies
  • Purchasing catering equipment to enable you to provide food and refreshments
  • Working with a partner organisation to deliver food
  • Activities suitable for children and families to take part in at no or little cost

For questions/ support with the application form please contact claire.vaughan@malvernhills.gov.uk  

Please request a short expression of interest form from Claire, and return this by Friday 24th November 2024.