Residents plea to Labour MPs over health impacts of cold homes

Plus: Mett Centre set to close, Seyi Omooba loses appeal and Green Party’s shock withdrawal.

Photo of Warm Homes Leics Coalition campaigners

In Focus

Residents plea to Labour MPs over health impacts of cold homes

by Rhys Everquill

Local campaigners from the Warm Homes Leics Coalition will gather outside the constituency offices of Labour MPs Jon Ashworth and Liz Kendall today to hand in the damning new report on the health impacts of cold homes. The protests will coincide with similar actions taking place across the county.

The new report, ‘Left out in the cold: the hidden health costs of Britain’s cold homes’, produced on behalf of Friends of the Earth and set to be handed in by Warm Homes Leics, has found that many millions of households nationwide are now at the point of crisis due to the lack of meaningful action on cold homes over the last decade.

In Leicester, tens of thousands of homes are poorly insulated in areas with high levels of poverty and where incomes are below the minimum level needed to heat them adequately, putting people at risk of the negative health impacts of cold homes.

The health impacts of cold homes include poor respiratory and cardiovascular health, mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, loneliness, social isolation and a greater prevalence of falls. Cold homes affect the physical and psychological health of both children and adults. Solutions include adequate insulation, double glazing and draught-proofing, but these measures must be combined with proper ventilation.

Zina Zelter, Leicester West resident and Warm Homes Leics member, said:

“We’ve been writing to our Leicester and Leicestershire MPs and inviting them to speak with us about the fuel poverty crisis in their constituencies for over a year now. So far, none of them have responded meaningfully. Government-funded street-by-street home insulation, starting in areas with the highest levels of fuel poverty, would cost £6 billion a year, save the NHS and economy many times more than this, and reduce the suffering we see across so many communities. This is why we are standing outside their offices today – to call on them to act and to ask for a meeting.

“People who cannot afford to live in well-insulated homes have disproportionately high heating bills even as their homes remain cold. They typically contribute the least to climate change but suffer the most from it. Home insulation tackles both fuel poverty and the climate crisis at the same time by reducing the need for energy and the associated carbon emissions. Our MPs and their parties should be making this a priority. People, the climate, our NHS and the world need action. It’s time our MPs stand up for their constituents”.

The campaigners are prioritising Liz Kendall and Jonathan Ashworth because they are in the Labour Party’s shadow cabinet. The party will likely be in power after the general election, which Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has indicated will be later this year.

Co-operatives UK

What's this?

Weather Forecast

by Phil Morrish

tue Cloudy thu weekend Mon 10°C 7°C wed Sunny intervals 12°C 6°C Sunny intervals 13°C 7°C fri Heavy showers 14°C 7°C Showers 15°C 7°C Cloudy 9°C 5°C

In the News

by Rhys Everquill

The Mett Centre faces closure: A Leicester mental health support service is set to close at the end of March, prompting fears from those who said they rely on it. The Mett Centre provides cooking, arts and crafts and health support. Those attending are worried that closing the centre will lead to social isolation - BBC Leicester

Western Park plans approved: Controversial plans to build 20 homes on Western Park are set to go ahead despite 58 objections from the public. Key concerns included the loss of parkland, the loss of the car park, traffic and parking concerns, and the harm to wildlife - BBC Leicester

Seyi Omooba loses appeal against Curve firing: An actor set to star in The Colour Purple at the Curve in 2019 has had her latest attempt to be paid damages rejected by a judge. Seyi Omooba had been hired to play Celie, but the local theatre dropped her after homophobic social media posts came to light - Leicester Mercury

Leicester City Council blackout: IT systems and phone lines were shut down late last week as a precaution after the council opened an investigation into a ‘cyber incident’. The cause of the incident is yet unknown - ITV

Green Party’s Leicester West candidate withdraws: Jasmine Lowen has withdrawn from the race following her expulsion from Leicester College. There are claims she was expelled because of her activism around the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza. However, Leicester College has denied this - Leicester Mercury

The 19th-century Leicester abolitionists: For International Women’s Day this year, Margaret Brecknell explores the life and work of Elizabeth Heyrick and Susannah Watts, two local women who fought to end slavery - Great Central Gazette

The two 19th-century Leicester women who fought against slavery
Elizabeth Heyrick and Susannah Watts still inspire those looking to make a difference today.

Photo of the Week

Send your photos to to be featured.
Please include your name and a short description.
Photo of a sunset over Victoria Park. Credit: Smital Hannon

A stunning sunset over Victoria Park last week, taken by Clarendon Park resident Smital Hannon.

What's On

by Leah Everquill

🚨 – Last chance
💷 – Entry fee
🆓 – Free of charge

🚨 🆓 Discover Co-ops Workshop – 12 March 2024

Are you thinking about starting a co-operative business? Join CASE and Co-operatives UK at Secular Hall for an insightful workshop about the co-op model. Booking online is essential. From 10:30am-3pm.

🚨 💷 Kathleen Kenyon and the Jewry Wall – 12 March 2024

Pop over to Leicester Guildhall to hear a talk by Mathew Morris about the woman who excavated this fascinating part of Leicester’s history. Tickets cost £4.50 each. From 2pm-3pm.

The Gazette Anniversary 2024 – 14 March 2024

Join us at Soft Touch Arts to celebrate The Gazette’s first anniversary! RSVP by emailing Everyone’s welcome.

💷 Decorative Slate Painting Workshop – 16 March 2024

Fancy getting creative? Belgrave Hall is hosting a terrific workshop where you can decorate a slate to take home. Tickets cost £28 each. From 10am-1pm.

💷 Fatherhood – 16 March 2024

Head to Attenborough Arts Centre for a fantastic performance – created, written and performed by Shane Shambhu, about being the father of a mixed heritage child. Tickets are pay what you can. From 7pm-8:15pm.

🆓 Leicester Nirvana F.C. – The Pioneers – Now until 13 June 2024

If you’re a football fan, visit the Leicester Museum & Art Gallery for an inspiring exhibition about one of Leicester’s grassroots football clubs. 

On the Market

by Rhys Everquill

GIF of a two-bedroom apartment in the Freemans Meadow estate

A two-bedroom apartment in the Freemans Meadow estate, off Upperton Road. It also features an entrance hall, a family bathroom, an open-plan lounge/kitchen/diner, two balcony areas and one allocated parking space. It’s right by the River Soar, a 10-minute walk from Aylestone Meadows.

Price: £150,000

Check out this 2 bedroom maisonette for sale on Rightmove
2 bedroom maisonette for sale in Watkin Road, LEICESTER, LE2 for £150,000. Marketed by Connells, Leicester

Food and Drink

by David Landwehr

Photo of a beer at The Blue Boar

The Blue Boar is a love letter to pubs. It’s the place that makes you lament the fall of the free house. Everything from Pale Ales to Porters and a cheese and onion cob, like they used to make back in the day. The walls are filled with old maps and pictures of Leicester, and all the caps are flat. The beer selection is twice that of The Ale Stone, which I reviewed last week, while still costing less than what you pay in the pub with the funny carpets. The Blue Boar is owned and run by people who love good beer and want to share that with the community.

Price: Pints from £3.80

Sports highlights

by David Landwehr

  • Men’s Football: Leicester City Draw against a tough away match at Hull City. Jamie Vardy puts two in the back of the net to make it Hull 2-2 Leicester City. Read more
  • Women’s Cricket: Becki Brooker is made Leicestershire Women’s Captain; Brooker takes the helm from Katie Gunn. Read more
  • Men’s Basketball: Leicester Riders take another hit against the Bristol Flyers. Bristol Flyers 108-71 Leicester Riders. Read more


by Rhys Everquill

Photo of Bow Bridge House. Credit: Leicestershire Records Office

Bow Bridge House in the 1960s, home to the abolitionist Elizabeth Heyrick, who we wrote about this week. It was built in the late 18th century and later demolished in 1965.

Co-operatives UK

What's this?

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to Great Central Gazette.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.