Residents in Huddersfieldtook part in a nationwide campaign this December to highlight the need for urgent action on fuel poverty.
Held on Saturday 3 December, the Day of Action on Fuel Poverty has seen thousands of people across the UK organising events in their towns and cities. The campaign is demanding more help for the millions of households facing fuel poverty this winter, including in Huddersfield as well as government action to ensure energy is affordable for everyone in the future.
A solidarity action was organised by Huddersfield Friends of the Earth as part of its local ‘United for Warm Homes’ campaign. The action took place in Market Place in Huddersfield, with speeches and a solidarity photo stunt. Attendees were asked to bring warm hats, gloves, scarves, and hot water bottles to be part of that.
Speakers included Nick Ruff on behalf of Huddersfield Trades Union Council, which is supporting the United for Warm Homes campaign, as well as speakers from Friends of the Earth.
The Day of Action focused on telling the stories of people facing fuel poverty this winter, highlighting some of the help being provided by communities, as well as the solutions available to the government. Alongside events across the UK, two larger events took place in London, including a rally in Parliament Square, and a public meeting at Stoke’s historic Fenton Town Hall, which neighbours streets with some of the highest levels of fuel poverty in the country.
The Day of Action on Fuel Poverty is being organised by the Warm This Winter campaign, which is demanding the government provides more support for people struggling with energy bills this winter and a coherent plan to lower bills in future through a national rollout of insulation and by rapidly moving the UK away from gas and onto cheaper renewable energy. Warm this Winter partners include the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, WWF UK, Uplift, Oxfam GB, Women’s Institute, The Climate Coalition, Save the Children, Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace UK.
Lesley Hawthorn from Huddersfield Friends of the Earth said: “Even with the government’s help, people are struggling to afford to stay warm this winter. The government needs to help people now and then fix our energy system so that we aren’t in the same position next winter. By committing to a nationwide insulation programme and a plan to rapidly ramp up the production of cheap, clean and popular renewable energy, the government can slash energy bills, cut carbon emissions and keep each and every one of us warm.”
Richard Brook attending the event said: “It’s wrong that so many people in this town/ country can’t afford to keep their homes warm, while, at the same time, oil and gas companies earn vast profits. But individuals can’t solve this on their own. It needs the government to act.”
The End Fuel Poverty Coalition is supporting the Day of Action and its co-ordinator Simon Francis commented:
“People are already seeing for themselves the suffering caused by living in fuel poverty and it will just get worse as we get deeper into winter. The Day of Action is a final chance for the Government to take notice of the problems caused by living in cold damp homes and pledge to do all it can to end fuel poverty once and for all.”
Find out more: United for Warm Homes