Fears over cost of heating bills

Supporting vulnerable people is a priority for Coun Kath Rowson (below).
Supporting vulnerable people is a priority for Coun Kath Rowson (below).
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A QUARTER of Blackpool residents are unable to heat their homes properly, according to new research.

And with a bitter winter ahead there are fears fuel poverty could lead to a number of elderly people dying from cold.

Coun Kath Rowson

Coun Kath Rowson

Rita Walsh, 71, from Layton Road, is a committee member at Blackpool Senior Voice Forum.

She has grave concerns for vulnerable people who will be unable to keep warm in the coming months, and says more needs to be done to make those suffering aware of schemes to keep their homes properly insulated.

She told The Gazette: “The number of elderly people who die in the winter is awful and it’s the one thing we should be making sure we look after.

“What we try to do is find people outside of the loop because those who are bad are the ones that are lonely.”

The figures were released by charity National Energy Action, which is aiming to make people aware of the Government’s Warm Front scheme – which offers grants up to £3,500 off property insulation in low income households.

Coun Kath Rowson, Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “Looking after vulnerable adults is one of this council’s priorities, and we do a lot of work to reduce the amount of people in fuel poverty.”

Anybody who is struggling to pay their fuel bills can contact Blackpool Council for help by ringing (01253) 476659.

For information about the Warm Front scheme call 0800 33 66 99 or visit www.homeheathelpline.org.uk.

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