“Half-hearted and weak”: council’s warm bank scheme slammed

Oldham’s Liberal Democrat Leader councillor Howard Sykes has hit out at Labour council bosses over their plans to provide warm banks this winter in the Borough. It has emerged that all the council’s earmarked locations are in public libraries, and none are open on Sundays.

Councillor Sykes said, “This is simply not good enough. It is unimaginative and half-hearted. The cost-of-living crisis doesn’t take Sunday off. We need warm spaces that are accessible to residents all the time. The council has only utilised libraries. What about community centres and other public buildings? What about those buildings used by faith groups? In a rich country like Britain, it’s shameful that we need to consider ideas like warm banks to begin with, but if we’re going to do this, we need to do it properly. It could make a real difference for vulnerable residents.”

Howard Sykes at the former Crompton Baths site

Warm banks were adopted by Oldham Council after councillor Sykes wrote to the council in early August and a Liberal Democrat motion calling for them was passed at The Council meeting in September.

Councillor Sykes said, “We have dragged the council kicking and screaming on this. Labour have tagged warm banks onto the end of their cost-of-living plans but clearly their hearts aren’t in it. The rest of their plan is unambitious. £1.2 million of the promised £3 million won’t even be spent this year. It’s an outrage and it doesn’t hold up to what is being offered by other local authorities.”

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