Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Action needed to reduce Canterbury's winter deaths

 Canterbury and District Green Party is calling for action on fuel poverty and excess winter deaths as part of the National Day of Action on28th November[1]. Local Greens are deeply concerned at the high number of excess winter deaths in the District, the highest proportion in Kent[2]. Alongside a call for financial help to support people in fuel poverty, the Greens are calling for urgent action to insulate homes across the District.

Pat Marsh, Green Party candidate for Wincheap, one of the areas affected, commented: "Canterbury and District Green Party members were shocked last year at the number of excess winter deaths in Canterbury District, the highest in the South East. What’s more, the average over 20 years is almost double that for Kent as a whole. This means that far too many people are dying of preventable causes in our District, just because they can’t afford to heat their homes properly in the winter."And this affects all of us: the number of people who contract illnesses due to cold homes is estimated to cost the NHS £1.3bn a year.

"We know some people feel they don’t need all or part of the winter fuel allowance they receive and they decide to donate it to charity. Many of them would like to redistribute it for the purpose it was intended – making sure elderly people don’t have to choose between heating and eating.

"That’s why on28th November, the Day of Action Against Winter Deaths, Canterbury & District Green Party is publicising Age UK Canterbury’s Hardship Fund. This is the ideal way for people to donate money and know it’ll go where it’s needed.

"We also want KCC and CCC to take action by offering free insulation to homes across the District. Insulation is the easiest way to reduce fuel bills, and therefore pollution, while helping people to keep warm. Other councils have taken this step and it is time that KCC supported people in Canterbury."

If you would like to make a donation to Age UK Canterbury, you can call the charity on 01227 462368 or go to www.ageuk.org.uk/canterbury/and click on the Donate button.

Ends

Notes:


1. http://www.fuelpovertyaction.org.uk/uncategorized/join-the-day-of-action-against-winter-deaths-on-28th-november
2. http://www.kmpho.nhs.uk/jsna/excess-winter-deaths/