Those using Bedford's warm spaces passes the 2,000 mark, staggering data reveals

“It is awful that we are in this situation where people can’t afford to stay warm,” says mayor
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Attendance figures for the Bedford’s warm spaces have passed a staggering 2,000 as residents continue to grapple with the cost-of-living crisis.

And with only 15 of the 30 organisations submitting their figures – the actual number could be even higher.

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Mayor Dave at the St Mary's warm space is DecemberMayor Dave at the St Mary's warm space is December
Mayor Dave at the St Mary's warm space is December
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Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “It is awful that we are in this situation where people can’t afford to stay warm.

"The numbers are heartbreaking – yet they show this initiative has been needed and provides vital support to residents.

"I’d like to thank the team for setting the network up so quickly and the huge number of organisations that have come forward to offer their buildings and kindness to our most vulnerable residents.”

The Warm Spaces Network forms part of Bedford Borough Council’s response to the cost-of-living crisis for residents.

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Mayor Dave has also given grants to Bedford Foodbank, Citizen’s Advice, Age UK and Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity.

Dave added: “I’m pleased we have been able to put in these extra schemes to support people.

"This comes on top of the support we already offer to residents including up to 100% council tax support, freezing residents’ fees and charges and keeping council tax down whilst most other councils are raising it by the maximum.”

Apart from determining the tax base for each parish, the council has no role in setting the parish precepts – or the police or fire service.