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District Dispatch - 18 June 2024

You may remember that last year, the council completed a £340,000 energy efficiency project at its short stay accommodation, to improve its energy performance and carbon footprint.

Diane Shepherd (900x600)

I'm really pleased to let you know that this has resulted in a 26% year on year reduction in emissions.

The project, which involved upgrading the heating system in the council's older short stay accommodation buildings at Westward House, has significantly reduced energy usage. Improvements that have been made to the 41 flats include: replacing the heating system with the latest high-heat retention storage heaters; swapping old bathroom radiators with low surface temperature towel rails; installing LED lighting in the kitchens and bathrooms; and checking insulation and ventilation levels.

This project builds on work completed in 2022, when three of the older properties were converted to make three new flats as part of another project to increase the amount of short stay accommodation in the district. As part of this project, a new building with 17 flats was constructed, enabling the council to further support residents who are facing homelessness. A number of eco features were installed such as energy efficient storage heaters plus a series of solar panels which will generate renewable electricity. This is used to supply electricity to communal areas and sell to the grid to help reduce the building's running costs.

This is not only reducing the council's carbon emissions, but improving the service we are providing to those residents using our temporary accommodation. While on this subject, I'm also really pleased to tell you that we have secured additional temporary accommodation. As you know, this has been a key priority for us due to the increasing demand for temporary accommodation, and so we are really pleased that this has been achieved so quickly. Both of these actions will make a huge difference to those using our temporary accommodation.

The work of our housing team is wide ranging, from housing advice; housing standards; help for the homeless; financial assistance and how to find a home. Information relating to all of this can be found on our Chichester District Council 'housing' page. There's even a section on grants, discounts and assistance on making a home more energy efficient, which you can find directly on our 'housing financial assistance' page.

There is no doubt that people are continuing to find things extremely challenging at the moment, and so a top priority for us is to make sure that people can easily access the support that is available. Our Supporting You team is making a huge difference to those who are seeking help. In the past year alone, they have assisted over 4,200 people with advice on energy support, water bills, benefits, food provisions, and pensions. This support has made a huge difference - from making sure that there is food on the table, to ensuring that they are accessing all of the financial support that is available. If you are struggling at the moment, or you know someone who is, please do get in touch. Our dedicated team is here to help. We also have simplified important information and advice on our Chichester District Council 'Supporting You' web pages, so that you can read about the range of help that is available.

It's also worth signing up to our monthly Chichester District email newsletter to keep in touch with the very latest news and events from across the district and following our social media pages for the latest updates.

Best Wishes

Diane Shepherd

Chief Executive

Chichester District Council

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