BLACKBURN MP Kate Hollern has thanked the 1,431 organisations in the North-West of England that have opened ‘warm banks’ to help people cope with cost of living crisis

They are among almost 13,000 such spaces that have opened across the UK to support the millions of low-income households who cannot afford to heat their homes, according to new figures obtained by Labour.

Freedom of Information Requests and analysis of district, borough and county councils by the party reveal there are at least 12,834 warm banks in the UK. In the North West the figure is 1,431.

Warm banks are public venues that anyone can visit in order to keep warm and have been opened by local councils, community organisations and faith groups.

The surge in warm banks comes amidst a fuel poverty crisis.

Labour has announced plans to reduce energy costs and insulate homes, saving households up to £1,400 off their annual bills in years to come.

This would be paid for by a one-off windfall tax on energy giants to pay for a package of support for gas and electricity bills.

Mrs Hollern said: “I am immensely grateful for those across the North West, and especially in Blackburn, who are stepping up to support the most vulnerable members of our community in the absence of government support, but it shouldn’t have to be like this.

“A Labour government would put hard-pressed families and communities first bring in a proper windfall tax to stop the energy price cap going up in April, insulate millions of homes, and save families hundreds on their energy bills for years to come.

“The British people deserve better.”

Warm banks in her constituency include at Blackburn Central Library, Cherry Tree Library, Mill Hill Library, The Bureau Centre for the Arts, Blackburn Salvation Army (Church & Community Centre), Roman Road Library, Big Local Community Shop in Accrington Road, and Woodlands United Reformed Church in Preston Old Road.