COUNCILLORS look set to approve spending of £350,000 on energy-efficiency improvement measures for 248 old people's homes.

Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet holds its first meeting of the year on Tuesday (January 8).

Members will be asked to approve the release of funding for the project for improvements to council-owned properties in the North Road Riverside area.

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The estate is mainly made up of flats for older people, many of which are part of a sheltered housing scheme.

A report to members, by director of place Richard Alty, states: “Residents have made numerous complaints about their cold, damp hallways and staircases.

“In some cases, this has resulted in elderly resident using their own portable heaters in an effort to reduce condensation and mould growth.

“These problems are caused by the lack of heating and poor quality external doors.

“It is proposed that old timber doors are replaced with composite door frames, together with the installation of an additional radiator in the affected area “This will eradicate the condensation problems, protect the building and reduce residents’ fuel bills.”

It is being recommended that members approve the replacement of failing timber external door frames.

The report says the work will reduce problems caused by condensation and mould growth in the homes.

It adds: “The replacement of the doors will also ensure that we meet the requirements of the Decent Homes standard for failing key building components and reduce maintenance costs for the repair and replacement of these elements.”

If agreed, the work will be funded through a previously-agreed energy efficiency budget of £500,000.

The proposed expenditure comes ahead of the council’s budget deliberations for 2013/14, which are expected to bring further difficult decisions on spending.

The meeting starts at 5pm, at the Town Hall.