390 people in Leeds lost their lives as a result of the cold weather last winter.
This is just one figure from the shocking set which the Office of National Statistics (ONS) released last week.
They revealed that there were 31,000 excess deaths in England and Wales last winter. These figures confirm a rise of 29% on the previous year.<a
The information released shows that Leeds was one of the worst affected areas in the country.
However, the general trend in the city does show that the number of deaths is gradually being reduced. And this is in part a result of the priority the Council is giving to work to secure affordable warmth.
Work is ongoing to secure investment in energy efficiency measures which make it easier to keep homes warm as a means of seeking to alleviate this problem for the future.
The Council has ambitious plans to attract external investment through the government’s Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) schemes.
Councillor Mark Dobson, Executive Member for Environment and Parks said:
“The Council has a proven track record of helping people who are finding it tough to heat their homes. We’ ve already helped to insulate over 10,000 lofts and cavities through the Wrap Up Leeds scheme. Following this we’re now delivering the Wrap Up Leeds ECO project which aims to complete around 5,000 major energy efficiency improvements to draw in around £20 million of ECO and Green Deal funding.
“This problem is a severe one and there will always be more work to do. To have people in this city lose their lives as a result of cold weather is entirely unacceptable in 2013 and I am focused on ensuring we extract all we can from the government’s offer to target energy efficiency installations where they are needed the most.”
Fuel poverty is, of course, a contributing cause to these statistics. And they underline the need to tackle rising fuel bills NOW.If you haven’t signed Labour’s ‘FreezethatBill‘ – do it now.
In the meantime, you can support the elderly and help combat fuel poverty in Leeds North West via OPAL’s [Older People’s Action in the Locality] ‘Warm and Well’ Appeal.
Read more about it here.