East Lancs £25 cold weather payments for vulnerable triggered

Andrew Stephenson in Parliament
Andrew Stephenson in Parliament

Cold weather payments have been made to vulnerable East Lancashire residents as the temperature dropped to below freezing.

The £25 awards have been automatically paid out in the BD23,BB10, BB11, BB12, BB18, BB8, BB9 postcodes.

Another £25 payment will be made by the government's Department for Work and Pensions if the cold snap continues into next week as expected.

It comes as a cold weather alert from the Met Office for East Lancashire has been upgraded to amber, with the threat of snow also looming for parts of the region.

People are eligible if they, or their partner, receives income support, jobseeker’s allowance or employment and support allowance and either have a child aged under five, are in receipt of pensioner, severe disability or disabled child premium, are entitled to child tax credit for a disabled child, or receive pension credit.

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson, whose constituency includes some of the postcodes, welcomed the announcement.

The Minister of State for Health and Social Care said: “With the weather expected to remain extremely cold for much of December, it is important that people take particular care to look after themselves and their families.

“These extra payments come on support to cap the energy prices people pay and additional support for pensioners.

"They will help to make sure that some of the most vulnerable people in our community are not forced to choose between heating and eating during this cold spell.”

The payments were triggered by the average temperature at the Bainbridge and Bingley weather stations being recorded as, or forecast to be, 0°C or below for seven consecutive days.

After a mostly wet and mild November, as the month approaches its end and winter is on the horizon, temperatures have plummeted at around freezing, with the chilly conditions looking set to continue into December as winter begins.

According to Met Office forecasts, in Blackburn temperatures won't get any higher than 4°C over the coming seven days, and it will rarely feel any warmer than 0°C due to icy windchill.