Cold comfort

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IT is cold comfort – literally – but at least the big freeze now gripping Yorkshire is unlikely to be as prolonged as last year, or accompanied by large quantities of snow that made conditions so treacherous.

However this is no justification for complacency on the part of the Government, Highways Agency, town halls, care providers and energy companies. Quite the opposite.

This bitter snap has been forecast for at least a week. Yet, rather than waiting until the end of the freeze to put in place measures to help the elderly with heating bills, they should consider the possibility of bringing forward such announcements.

Why? At least the elderly, or those on fixed incomes, would know that they could afford to heat their homes – rather than shivering in a freezing home and leaving themselves open to hypothermia or other illnesses that might require hospital treatment at an even greater cost to the public purse. In short, the best way to beat the weather is by public bodies being proactive from the outset – and communities pulling together to help the vulnerable.