Category Archives: Facilities and Support

UPDATE: Calderdale Libraries

Calderdale Council have released details of their plans for the area’s libraries, in a press release on 22 August.

Almost £2m of investment in our libraries will be announced alongside plans to change service delivery in partnership with local communities at Calderdale Council’s Cabinet meeting on Monday 2 September.

Elland Library is set to be refurbished and transformed at a cost of £1.5m into a community hub providing a range of services. Essential roof repairs costing £240,000 will be carried out at Todmorden Library following structural work earlier this year, and in late 2019 work is set to begin on a new library in Mixenden next to a new GP surgery, pharmacy and shops  to improve services for children, young people and families in the area.

There are also plans to improve accessibility and refurbish the gardens at Rastrick Library in partnership with the Friends of Rastrick Library, with a possible relocation of Mytholmroyd Library into the newly renovated station building to provide modern facilities and extend opening hours.

The Council’s recent review of all libraries identified a number of buildings in a severe state of disrepair due to age or vandalism. In these cases the Council has been working closely with Ward Councillors, community groups and local businesses to look at new ways of delivering services in an alternative location.

However, several smaller community libraries remain at risk unless community-led solutions can be found. Cllr Susan Press, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, said:

“Across the country councils have had to drastically reduce their library services, but unlike many local authorities we have continued to invest in them because we know how much they matter to communities.

“Our long-term commitment to our libraries continues and we are proud of the investments we have been able to make, including the opening of our flagship Central Library two years ago. However, it is getting harder and harder to provide a service in every location because of the financial pressures caused by austerity.

“This year, for example, we had to reduce our book fund by £50,000 to balance the budget and the reality is that some of our buildings are just not fit for purpose any longer.”

The list of libraries where the Council is seeking to work in partnership with the community includes Beechwood Road in Illingworth, which is in a bad state of repair and attracts persistent vandalism. The Council is due to meet with local people and Ward Councillors to consider options for alternative service delivery.

Bailiff Bridge Library closed in February 2019 due to serious structural deterioration of the roof and it would cost an estimated £310,000 to bring the building up to standard. The Council has been working with the Community Association to try to identify another suitable building in the area, but unfortunately an alternative has not been found so far.

The severe state of disrepair at the prefabricated Walsden Library building means substantial investment would be needed to maintain it and keep it safe for the future. In the past two years Council staff have held a series of discussions with local community organisations, schools and businesses but an alternative location is yet to be found. Calderdale Council will continue to work with Ward Councillors, Todmorden Town Councillors and local organisations and businesses – however if a solution has not been found in the next three months the building will have to close.

Cllr Press added:

“Our officers have worked tirelessly to try and find solutions to all these issues, as we promised we would when our libraries review began; however it has not been possible in every area. So we are appealing to local communities across Calderdale to help us relocate and deliver services in alternative locations that enable us to continue to provide the modern services that our residents deserve.”

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HEATING: Free Age UK Visits

Age UK Calderdale and Kirklees FREE Home Energy Visits

These visits aim to reduce people’s energy bills whilst keeping them warm and well at home by offering:

  • Practical advice about keeping warm
  • Information about winter benefits
  • Advice about smarter use of energy
  • Referral to other useful services if needed
  • Installation of free energy saving devices such as draught excluders,  radiator  panels, timers and cold alarms
  • Installation of free energy saving light bulbs

And best of all, it is all FREE

Home Visits

Age UK is working with E.ON and First Utility to provide Home Energy Visits. The aim of the visit is to deliver practical energy efficiency information and expert advice to older people. The project will enable people to change energy use behaviour and benefit from small practical measures which could potentially reduce their energy bills whilst remaining warm and well in their own homes.

How do I get a free home visit?

To qualify for the Home Energy visit you must be :

  • Over 65 and on low income (below £16,190 p.a )and /or
  • Over 65 and living with a disability or other medical condition
  • Over 65 and living in a hard to heat property.

For more information or to book your home energy check, please contact us on 01422 252040 / 01484 535994

SURVEY: Bus Info Provision

Have your say on your bus information

West Yorkshire Combined Authority is looking at how to provide information about bus services in a way that best meets people’s requirements. 

They are asking for public feedback on their proposed Bus Information Strategy between Monday 1 July and Sunday 25 August. Find out more about how you can have your say at: www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/bus-information-strategy

As well as being able to take part online, people will be able to use printed questionnaires to provide feedback via Freepost.  There will also be a series of organised focus groups at colleges and community groups along with drop-in sessions at bus stations across the county.

Drop-in sessions will take place between 10am and 2pm on:

  • Friday 26 July at Halifax Bus Station
  • Wednesday 31 July at Huddersfield Bus Station
  • Friday 2 August at Castleford Bus Station
  • Tuesday 6 August at Wakefield Bus Station
  • Wednesday 7 August at Leeds Bus Station
  • Friday 9 August at Dewsbury Bus Station
  • Wednesday 14 August at Dewsbury Bus Station
  • Thursday 22 August at Bradford Interchange

Questionnaires are available from Bus Station Travel Centres at Centres at Bradford Interchange, Castleford, Dewsbury, Halifax, Huddersfield, Keighley, Leeds, Pontefract and Wakefield bus stations

MONEY: Affordable Warmth

The Affordable Warmth team at Calderdale Council are there to help the more vulnerable members of the population of Calderdale, especially those in their own homes and private rented. To qualify for help from the team you must meet certain criteria, including having an combined earnings/benefits income of less than £21,000 per year and less than £16,000 in bank.

What’s available?

· Attic Insulation. Applicable for both private rented (PR) & Owner Occupier (OO) Lofts MUST be cleared before survey & installation; contractors are not covered to move client’s possessions. Insulation should be at least 27cm thick!

· Cavity Wall insulation. Applicable for both (PR) (OO). Not applicable for Solid wall, rubble filled properties or property with wall ties. Insulation with either fibre or polybead is available. A surveyor will ensure that the correct type is matched to the property. Maximum funding £1000. If work exceeds the grant, affordable interest free grants are available.

· Service or repair boiler, including gas fires. (OO) – Using our accredited Plumbers. THIS IS NOT AN EMERGENCY SERVICE. Grant upto £500.

· Upgrading Boiler/heating System. (OO) – Using our accredited Plumbers. Upto £500 towards new system.

· Fit modern timer/Thermostat control. (OO) – Using our accredited Plumbers. Upto £500 towards new controls.

· Apply for Warmth On Prescription. Applicable for both (PR) & (OO). We offer 50% funding towards replacement/new boiler/central heating systems. Interest free loans are available to fund the balance. This scheme is available for people or family member in the house with long term health conditions. A letter from Health professional is required.

‘Mr / Mrs (insert surname) of (insert address) has long term or chronic health condition(s) that are made significantly worse by living in a cold home. We therefore endorse their application for the council’s warmth on prescription scheme for heating and insulation works which will make their home warmer, healthier and cheaper to heat.’

· Switch your energy provider for a cheaper deal. Before shopping around, have the following details to hand; your last energy bill which has your customer number, your estimated yearly usage/costs. Remember, it is a billing exercise only, all gas & all electricity comes through the same pipes & wires. Put the money in your pocket, not their wallet.

· Fit a smart meter. Real time energy use. Reduces estimated billing. What’s causing those energy spikes?

· Fit draught proofing to wooden windows & doors. Applicable for both (PR) & (OO) Small grants are available to install draughtproofing which is undertaken by our Handyperson service.

· Claim Additional funding. If you or a member of your family have a long term health condition request to be put on the PRIORITY SERVICE REGISTER. You will be asked questions of the nature of the request. These details are to help you. Ask to be put forward for the “Warm Home Discount”. It must be applied for. However, be aware that once the pot of money is used, then there is no legal obligation for the energy company to give it to you. You could be receiving an extra £140 off your next winter bill.

Who to contact – Please check with affordable warmth team for up to date information – Sarah.buczynski@calderdale.gov.uk – 01422 393200 Jeremy.vicars@calderdale.gov.uk – 01422 392407

Affordable Warmth Referral Form

SUPPORT: Shared Lives Service

Calderdale Council’s Shared Lives service offers short breaks, long-term care and daytime support for people who need extra help in their lives. Their carers give this help in their own home or in the home of the person they are caring for.

Everyone gets something out of it:

  • adults in need:
    • get a welcome break in a friendly environment;
    • meet new people;
    • enjoy different experiences;
    • and keep their independence;
  • families get a break and a little time to themselves.
  • carers get the satisfaction of knowing they are making a difference.

This service offers:

  • the best possible care;
  • the type of care that people really want;
  • and quality care that matches individual circumstances and assessed needs.

At times, a stay away from home or a regular day out is the ideal option. It can also give family carers a welcome break. If care is needed for a longer period of time, Shared Lives offers that too. It is a great way of letting people live independent lives with the security of having qualified support on hand.

SUPPORT: Bereavement Care

The Cruse Bereavement Care Freephone National Helpline on 0808 808 1677 is staffed by trained bereavement volunteers, who offer emotional support to anyone affected by bereavement. Alternatively you can email helpline@cruse.org.uk.

The volunteers help you to talk things through. They can also help you find your local Cruse service, or signpost you to other services and useful sources of information.

The helpline is open Monday-Friday 9.30-5pm (excluding bank holidays), with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, when it’s open until 8pm.

Cruse Bereavement Care has been helping bereaved people for 60 years being registered as a charity (No. 208078) in 1959.

FREE: Access Audits for Groups

‘Developing Calderdale to become a more accessible and inclusive place for all’

  • VU_logo_web12.pngWould you like to develop your community group venue to become more accessible to people with disabilities?
  • Are you considering re-locating your group and would like to ensure the proposed venue is inclusive and accessible?

Visits Unlimited’s experienced & skilled auditor will provide a full access survey and report. Groups will have the opportunity to apply for funding through the Community Foundation for Calderdale to support recommendations for access and inclusion.

The Accessible Calderdale Project can also deliver a FREE half day session in disability awareness to organisations who have received an access audit.

To request an expression of interest form please email Lorraine@visitsunlimited.org.uk or call 07596 707795.