Plea to tackle fatal fuel poverty in Ashfield

A new campaign is being launched in Ashfield which encourages residents to support vulnerable residents during the winter.

Citizens Advice is calling for people in the district to make a pledge and offer help to vulnerable people close to them, by helping them stay warm and lower fuel costs at home.

Ashfield Citizens Advice are bidding to tackle fuel poverty for old age pensioners.

Ashfield Citizens Advice are bidding to tackle fuel poverty for old age pensioners.

The campaign will involve running several events in the district, in partnership with Ashfield District Council and through social media, with a focus on the elderly and those most vulnerable to fuel poverty.

Fuel poverty is traditionally measured simply by calculating the cost to provide energy to a household against its income. If this is greater than 10 per cent, a home is regarded as in poverty.

Kathryn Stacey, chief executive at Citizens Advice Ashfield, says it is a “bigger killer” across the country than road collisions and drug misuse.

She said “Fuel poverty is caused by low incomes, high energy prices and energy inefficient housing. National Energy Action (NEA) state that cold homes are currently a bigger killer across the UK than road accidents, alcohol or drug abuse.

“We can help address the issues of fuel poverty by encouraging people to stay warm and well whilst reducing their energy bills, maximising income and improving the energy efficiency of their homes.

“We will be running a campaign in Ashfield and asking people to pledge to check on an elderly or vulnerable neighbour or family member who may be suffering from fuel poverty.

“We don't want families choosing between eating or heating or being well this winter.”

Ashfield District Council is supporting the campaign.

Paul Parkinson, director for housing and assets, said: “We are once again working closely with Citizens Advice Ashfield to help tackle the issue of fuel poverty in the District. We want residents to stay warm and well this winter and encourage people to come along to one of our events.

“The Council is committed to working with partners like Citizens Advice Ashfield to ensure that as many residents as possible are able to heat their homes this winter without it being a choice of eating or heating.”