COUNCILS in Gwent are considering setting up "warm hubs" this winter, as a response to mounting worries about the cost-of-living and the ability of many people to heat their homes.

The Welsh Government has said it expects "many people will struggle to keep their homes at a healthy temperature this winter", particularly the elderly, the vulnerable, and people who spend most of their time at home.

An initial £1 million will be divided between Wales' 22 local authorities to support the setting-up of warm hubs in places within communities.

Warm hubs are locations where people can find warm environments, and may also offer refreshments, advice and support for attendees, and activities such as exercise or creative arts - although these other services would be provided on a centre-by-centre basis.

The government has encouraged organisations wishing to set up warm hubs to first contact their local authority "to ensure they are delivering as part of the overall area approach and not duplicating local provision".

In Newport, the city council said it was currently "considering the best way to provide warm spaces for residents" as part of its wider cost-of-living support.

A spokesperson for the council said communal facilities such as libraries had "traditionally provided safe and welcoming havens for residents during opening hours".

Specific information on warm hubs would be available "very soon", they added.

Information on cost-of-living support in Newport can be found online at

In Blaenau Gwent, meanwhile, the council acknowledged "this is a difficult time financially for many local people" and said it was working with other agencies to provide support.

"We are currently working through options to finalise how this support may look, and will release more detail when we can," a council spokesperson added.

Blaenau Gwent MP Nick Smith will also host a cost-of-living advice day for residents, with more than a dozen specialist agencies, at Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre, at 20 James Street, on Thursday, October 20, from 10am until 1pm.

Caerphilly County Borough Council said the ongoing economic issues presented an "unprecedented financial challenge" to many residents.

It has recently approved a special £3 million Cost Of Living Hardship Fund, which will cover support schemes including proposed warm hubs, called Welcoming Spaces, where residents can stay warm and socialise.

The council has also proposed a "warm the person not the home" initiative which could provide warm packs featuring thick curtains, draft excluders, and warm clothing for those in need.