Cold weather payments triggered as Arctic blast hits South West

Credit: PA images

People on the lowest incomes in parts of the South West will receive a £25 cold weather payment due to the freezing conditions.

The Government payments have been triggered for eligible households in areas where the average temperature has been recorded as, or is forecast to be, 0C or below over seven consecutive days.

The Met Office has warned that temperatures “falling close to minus 10C” could be recorded in rural parts of the UK on Thursday.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said: "The bank top-up of £25 will be in eligible people’s bank account within 14 days of the trigger"

A DWP spokesperson said: “These additional payments provide support every year to help people experiencing the coldest weather.

“Cold weather payments can be triggered right through to the end of March, giving people facing disproportionately cold weather that extra reassurance over the chillier months.”

People claiming pension credit, income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, universal credit and support for mortgage interest could be eligible for the cold weather payments, DWP guidance says.

Cold weather payments have been triggered in parts of the South West, such as near Exeter. Other areas across the UK are the North West, including in Rochdale, Greater Manchester and in Nottingham in the East Midlands.

Parts of Powys in east-central Wales, Oxfordshire and Herefordshire, also have affected postcodes.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has issued a Level 3 cold weather alert covering England until Monday.

The Met Office has warned motorists that wintry showers will create hazardous, icy patches on some roads over the coming days during the cold snap.

People are being urged to take extra care when driving or walking and to consider not cycling in the icy areas.