Everyone of sixty years and over receives a winter fuel payment to help with fuel costs. Some people need this payment to help them to stay warm over the winter months. Indeed as I've reported on this blog 2,700 are estimated to die from being fuel poor and as Age UK found one in five miss a meal to pay for fuel - see also my blog one in three too cold in their own home.
This Thursday at Cabinet I hope they passed the Energy Strategy that came out of two inquiries I have chaired - one into climate change measures and the other into Decent Homes standard and how we can tackle fuel poverty. This is great news and sets the framework for action locally. As Glos-based Wood U Waste have already highlighted we look set to miss national targets re fuel poverty. As the Energy Strategy shows there is much we can do - it will need resources. Those are already being identified and Greens will be pushing to ensure this area is a key target.
Of course we mustn't forget the private sector - especially private rented - I sent a letter on the housing crisis to local press last week. This is more difficult for a local council to play a key role but Government maybe making some changes in that area.....anyhow all this leads me to highlight the campaign locally for those not needing the winter fuel payment to pass it to those less well off.
Last year over 300 people in Gloucestershire died from causes directly attributable to the cold and poor living conditions. Four local organisations are helping to make a difference to the lives of older people
who are at risk from fuel poverty; Care and Repair (Stroud) Ltd, Wood u Waste, Acorn Day Centre and the Uplands Care Service.
The campaign hopes to encourage those who do not rely on their fuel allowance to
support by donating all or part of it. Their aim is to raise £10,000 - just 100 people giving £100. Donations can be made through our website or by sending a cheque to Wood u Waste: www.donateyourfuelallowance.com