Central Bedfordshire Council’s 'cool spaces'
Wednesday, 20 July 2022
Monday and Tuesday this week saw temperatures hit around 40 degrees across Central Bedfordshire; triggering a red alert from the Met Office for ‘extreme heat’.
In response to this exceptional weather, Central Bedfordshire Council, alongside its partners in health and social care, worked together to make sure the most vulnerable people in the community were kept well and safe through the intense heat.
We offered up some ibraries and leisure centres that have air-conditioning to residents who are at high risk of heat stroke or becoming ill through the high temperatures. The buildings provided cool spaces for residents to use as they have air con and are generally cooler larger places to be in. Even though we welcomed anyone into these cool spaces, including emergency services who were driving or walking past, they were set up specifically with the vulnerable in mind. Rachel Willoughby, Library Manager at Stotfold commented that a mother with a very young baby was very grateful to have a safe and cool space to breastfeed her baby instead of outside in the heat.
Councillor Tracey Stock, Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Communities at Central Bedfordshire Council, said:
Keeping our residents safe and well is my top priority and I’m pleased that we were able to offer these cool spaces to our most vulnerable residents. We also wanted to keep our services running through the soaring temperatures, so we took the initiative and asked our residents to put their bins out the night before or early first thing and then we sent our bin crews out from 6am to avoid working in the hottest part of the day. We’ve also made sure any non-emergency road repairs were done outside of the extreme heat hours; as well as supporting people who are homeless through our provider Noah Enterprise.