Helensburgh "needs to do something" about providing communal warm spaces for residents who can't afford to heat their homes this winter.

A list drawn up of public spaces open across the town to help provide people with some warmth and company showed significant gaps, especially at night and at weekends.

At Helensburgh Community Council (HCC) on November 30, local resident Neil Walden circulated a list of "warm spaces" available to those in need based on opening hours or events.

He said: "I raised this issue last winter. This winter is going to be worse.

"There are a lot of people who cannot afford to put their heating on.

"There are warm spaces provided by a number of places in the town.

"At first glance there are a lot. But they are almost all during daylight hours.

"We have warm buildings, but we don't encourage people to come and use them.

"If people got together as a community, we could do better than this.

"Perhaps we could persuade the council and LiveArgyll to open their doors."

Staffing of public buildings was flagged as the main issue facing both council and leisure facilities, as well churches or other venues.

Mr Walden added: "We either have an energy crisis or we don't. We have a lot of people who are cold and we should be doing something about it."

HCC vice convener Sarah Davies said she had written to the Argyll and Bute community planning partnership to ask about drawing up a formal list of warm spaces.

She said: "It's something we really should be dealing with."

Neighbouring West Dunbartonshire Council has already launched a scheme for "welcoming warm spaces", with clubs, IT courses, book discussions, and other free winter events in buildings including libraries and for all ages.

Argyll and Bute Council has been approached for comment.

The circulated list for Helensburgh was:


  • 10am - Fun First (age 0-5) at Helensburgh Library [the library is closed on Mondays]
  • 2pm-6pm - Book Nook at Helensbugh Commuity Hub


  • 9.30am-4.30pm - Helensburgh Library
  • 10-11.30am - The Bridge at Helensburgh Parish Church
  • 10am-2pm - Bethesda Centre
  • 10am-2pm - Book Nook, Helensburgh Community Hub
  • 10.30am - Grey Matters (over 60s), 61 West Princes Street
  • 6-9pm - Drumfork Community Centre


  • 9.30am-4.30pm - Helensburgh Library
  • 10am-4pm - Book Nook, Helensburgh Community Hub
  • 6-9pm - Drumfork Community Centre


  • 9.30am-4.30pm - Helensburgh Library
  • 10am - Fun First Fitness and Fun, Victoria Halls
  • 10-11.30am - The Bridge at Helensburgh Parish Church
  • 6.30-8.30pm - Book Nook, Helensburgh Community Hub


  • 9.30am-1pm - Helensburgh Library
  • 9.45am - Fun First, Helensburgh Community Hub
  • 10.30am - Grey Matters
  • 1pm-4.30pm - Helensburgh Baptist Church


  • 9.30am-1pm - Helensburgh Library


  • Nothing