Merton Council has encouraged residents to visit the borough’s public libraries if they are struggling to keep warm in the coming months.

A new energy price cap came into effect at the beginning of October and councils across London have responded by making further preparations for a more severe cost-of-living crisis this winter.

Pollards Hill Library is one of the libraries that residents can visit to keep warm.

A Merton Council spokesperson said: “We’ve already taken a number of measures to support the least well off, including setting up a £2 million support fund and holding a number of cost-of-living events where hundreds of residents have received free financial advice.

“We will also be promoting our libraries as warm, accessible places for residents to come in order to save on their heating bills.”

Pollards Hill Library will regularly host free events, with 15 local community organisations attending these, to help people access the financial and benefit support they need.

Organisations taking part include Citizens Advice Bureau and each person attending will receive a £10 supermarket voucher on the day, which can be spent at one of the local stores.

The next scheduled event is on Saturday, 29 October. Merton Council has reiterated that helping residents through the cost-of-living crisis is a “top priority” for them.

Plans for opening ‘warm banks’ are also being developed by other councils in London, including Lewisham Council.

A Lewisham Council spokesperson said: “We are developing plans for warm spaces which will be open to the local community, alongside a number of other measures we will be putting in place to support residents with the cost of living.”

Greenwich London Borough Council has said it is “considering” setting up dedicated ‘warm banks’.

A Greenwich London Borough Council spokesperson said: "We are currently developing a range of measures to provide support to residents affected by the rising cost of living.

“These measures will include a range of assistance for residents, including consideration of dedicated ‘warm banks' and how else we can support residents affected by the energy crisis."