Last winter in the UK there were classified over 40,000 winter deaths amongst the over 65s from flu and cold related illness such as heart attacks and strokes.
In Mansfield, currently there are 4,395 households, i.e 9.6 per cent of all homes, classified as being fuel poor and experiencing fuel poverty. With proper insulation and energy efficiency measures most of these homes could be made much warmer.
People most affected are the elderly, disabled, unemployed and those living on benefits.
I believe more help should be available from Government to combat this situation - which in some cases has proven deadly.
I ask people to contact their elderly neighbours, especially if they live alone, and assist any way they can and keep an eye on them when the harsh winter hits.
People should not hesitate to contact the authorities if they feel their neighbour is having a real problem. In the meantime, I will be campaigning with ministers to obtain funding in this area and hope the situation improves for next Christmas.
Sir Alan Meale