PENSIONERS in Kirklees are at high risk from the cold, a new survey has revealed.
One in four older people in the district live without central heating – one of the highest rates in the country.
The figures were revealed by the Department of Health as they unveiled a “cold map” of Britain.
Some 23.4% of over-65s in Kirklees live without central heating, the seventh worst figure nationwide. Only Liverpool, Leeds, Barrow-in-Furness, Portsmouth, Hull and Knowsley in Merseyside fared worse.
Health minister Ivan Lewis encouraged people in Kirklees to find out if they were eligible for Government help installing central heating.
He said: “There are millions of pounds of grants available for insulation and heating systems through the Warm Front scheme as well as winter fuel payments for older people, those on low incomes and disabled people.
“I urge people to plan ahead and find out what help is available and what measures they can adopt to ensure they are protected against the winter.”
Mr Lewis also advised people to pick up a copy of the Keep Warm Keep Well leaflet from their local GP. It includes tips for keeping out the cold including having a hot drink before bed and setting the thermostat at 21C.
Mr Lewis said: “It is vital to look after yourself and stay warm during the winter months. Cold homes have a significant impact on people’s health and wellbeing.”
Kirklees Council is supporting the Keep Warm Keep Well campaign.
Cabinet member for the environment Clr Martyn Bolt said: “We are very much in favour of the national initiative to make pensioner households warm and well. But in Kirklees we go well beyond that in our drive to make sure every home can have full cavity wall and loft insulation and other energy saving measures.”
Kirklees Warm Zone offers free cavity wall and loft insulation, and in some cases free central heating. It is open to everyone regardless of age or income.
Warm Zone workers also check to see what heating improvement grants and services householders are eligible for, and refers residents to the most appropriate one.
Householders may be eligible for a free carbon monoxide detector, four free low energy light bulbs, fire safety checks, interest free loans for major home improvements, benefits and debt advice, information on water conservation and support to long-term carers
Insulation company Miller Pattison is the only firm delivering Warm Zone in Kirklees.
For more information visit www.kirklees.gov.uk/warmzone, freephone 0800 052 0071 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about winter fuel payments phone 08459 151515.