Cllr Anna Perrett
Cllr Anna Perrett

The numbers of York households falling into fuel poverty will only accelerate unless significant action is taken in the years ahead, according to York’s Labour councillors.

Labour is calling on ruling Lib Dem and Green councillors to back a bold plan to end fuel poverty in York by 2030.  The call comes as it is revealed that in some parts of York, between one in three and one in four households cannot afford to adequately heat their homes, based on their incomes and the energy efficiency of their homes.

Cllr Anna Perrett will propose a Labour motion at this week’s Full Council meeting in York, seeking council action to tackle the problem of rising numbers falling into fuel poverty.  She said:

“We all know the cost of energy is going through the roof and this is going to cause huge problems for an increasing number of our residents. In a city that is already hugely expensive to live in, a lot of residents can ill-afford energy cost hikes and in the most extreme cases, will be faced with the awful choice of ‘heat or eat’.

“York has seen an increase of more than 2000 extra households fall into fuel poverty in just four years, showing that much more needs to be done to reverse this trend.  Our motion proposes a number of common sense steps to achieve this, starting with acknowledging the scale of the problem and committing to take action”.

The war in Ukraine and its impact on UK energy costs, irrespective of the UK’s energy supply largely coming from outside Russia, has highlighted the interdependencies between countries and the fact that more needs to be done domestically to reduce the UK’s reliance on global gas and oil.

Locally in York, Labour believes years of falling standards have left City of York Council with a major challenge to improve the energy efficiency of its own housing stock.  It also has a responsibility to enforce basic standards in private housing, and to promote better energy efficiency across all 90,000 homes in the city.

Cllr Michael Pavlovic, Labour’s housing spokesperson said:

“Just in the council, we have the problem of huge sums of public money being ploughed into the energy efficiency of a limited number of new homes, many of which are for market sale for over £0.5m.  Yet the council has even admitted it cannot recoup all of the costs for these extra measures, which is crazy. 

“A lot of this money would go much further and remove a lot more carbon if it were spread across more existing council homes, bringing up their energy efficiency ratings and helping to improve the health of many of our most vulnerable residents. 

“Our motion seeks a strategy and action plan that will lead to better decision making, and which will take steps to support the least well off who often have to pay the most for their energy, which is completely wrong and unjust”.

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