The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Anna Soubry)
This is to inform the House of the award of funds from the warm homes healthy people fund (WHHP) 2012.
On 13 September 2012, the Department issued a circular to upper-tier local authorities in England inviting them to apply for funding from the WHHP.
The aim of the WHHP fund of £20 million is to support local authorities and their partners in reducing the levels of death and morbidity in England due to cold housing in the winter of 2012. With this funding, local authorities and their partner organisations are encouraged to undertake a variety of projects to support a range of national and local initiatives.
The Department, along with other Government Departments, already provides a range of advice and support to help individuals, families and carers to prepare for cold weather, including the “Cold Weather Plan for England 2012” published on 26 October 2012, which is available at: www.dh.gov.uk/health/2012/10/cwp-2012/.
The evidence that the annual cost to the NHS due to cold private housing alone is over £850 million is compelling. More work is underway to improve the health and well-being of the most vulnerable, and the WHHP provides support to help vulnerable people deal with winter weather.
A list of successful proposals detailing recipients of the funding from the warm homes healthy people fund for this year has been placed in the Library. Copies are available to hon. Members from the Vote Office and to noble Lords from the Printed Paper Office. We are able to provide funding to 149 out of 162 local authority proposals.
Because of the success of the WHHP fund last year, we were oversubscribed with suggested proposals for 2012, and have had to reduce the funds provided across the board by 19% to stay within the limit of the total fund.
The process is similar to that of last year’s fund so that funding goes to local authorities quickly, in time to make a real difference this winter. Proposals display co-operation with local partners, from the voluntary and community sector, who have been fully engaged in the bidding process, as they will be with the delivery of the projects.