Shropshire Star

MP calls for action on cold homes after charity reveals number of deaths in constituency

An MP has called for more help for people to insulate their homes after a national energy charity estimated that 36 of her constituents died in a recent winter due to living in cold conditions.

Helen Morgan

Helen Morgan, the Lib Dem MP for North Shropshire met National Energy Action, the national campaigning group on fuel poverty, in Parliament last week, as winter tightened its grip.

The NEA have collected statistics and projections which estimate that as many as 36 of the 120 ‘winter related deaths’ in her North Shropshire constituency in 2020 - 2021 were attributable to living in a cold home.

The MP also learned that 7,798 residents in North Shropshire in 2021 (the most recent government estimates available) were living in fuel poverty, 17 per cent of the total.

There are still 4,310 homes with prepayment meters which have not yet been replaced, while 20 per cent of vouchers under the Energy Bill Support Scheme for low income and vulnerable households in the constituency went unclaimed.

Ms Morgan has long been a campaigner on the cost of living crisis in Shropshire, speaking in Parliament about the lack of support for off-grid homes and calling for the extension of rural fuel duty relief to Shropshire, cutting costs for people getting around the county.

She said: “These statistics and projections of the impact of fuel poverty gathered by National Energy Action are alarming. No one should die because their home is too cold.

“This is a tragic reflection of the extra difficulty people have living in older properties which can be expensive to heat and insulate.

“The sad reality is that many people in North Shropshire are dreading a cold snap this winter and are having to make difficult financial choices to keep their homes warm.

“I have long campaigned for more action to support people living in rural areas like ours where houses are more expensive to heat.

“The recent cold snap comes as winter fuel payments should be arriving but it is clear that the Government needs to do more to save lives, cut bills and insulate homes.”

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