Prime Minister Gordon Brown took time out of shuttling to the USA and and Paris to sort out the financial crisis gripping the world to dropp into Swindon on Friday 10 October on his way to the Cheltenham Literature Festival.
At STEAM, the Museum of the Great Western Railway he met representatives of Swindon based energy company nPower, Swindon Borough Council and Swindon Primary Care Trust to discuss Health Through Warmth campaign to help those most vulnerable this winter.
Chatting with a number of Swindon pensioners, he heard their requests for help with winter fuel bills.
The PM said, “I’d like the winter allowance frankly to be higher,but we've got to balance the need to do other things, such as increasing expenditure on the health service and meeting all our targets in the health service, with what we can do on direct benefits.
“To raise the winter allowance to £250, which will be paid in the next few weeks, and to £400 for the over-80s, shows our determination to do more to help.”
South Swindon MP Anne Snelgrove, below with the PM and Mr and Mrs Benfield, said, “I’m really pleased Gordon came to Swindon today, it’s part of a series of meeting’s he’s holding across the country talking to people about the action he is taking to help the economy.
"We had a good group of pensioners here in Swindon for him to talk to; they had a discussion with Gordon in a private room about what the credit crunch means to them in terms of their savings, their fuel bills – they had a really honest chat. This was also an opportunity to give some publicity to the wonderful STEAM museum.
"I know Gordon will do what is necessary to ensure Swindon is as properous in 10 years time as it has been for the last 10 years.”