The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member: Housing, Enforcement & Transport presented the report of the Director: Housing, Employment & Infrastructure. The report provided an update on the work undertaken by the Council and partners to deliver the Affordable Warmth Strategy.
Since the introduction of the Strategy in April 2021, there had been a dramatic rise in energy prices driven by the war in Ukraine. Between October 2021 and October 2022, domestic gas prices had increased by 129% and domestic electricity prices by 66%. In addition, there had been increased costs in food prices, road fuel, rents and other essentials.
In Telford & Wrekin, a third of households had an estimated annual income of below £20,000, which made them more susceptible to being fuel poor. It was expected that around a quarter of people would not turn on their heating this winter, leading to cold homes, which had many harmful impacts on residents, such as health impacts, mould and damp.
Since the adoption of the strategy, the Telford Energy Advice hot line had been developed, a ‘one stop shop’ which provided advice, home visits and referrals to grant funding for eligible households. Work had also undertaken with school pupils and training for staff members in identifying fuel poverty so that swift referrals for support could be made.
The report outlined the proposed next steps within the strategy, which included maximising the reach and range of support.
Cabinet Members welcomed the report.
The Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group welcomed the report and discussed forward planning of energy production across the Country. The Leader of the Conservative Group welcomed any initiative which would support residents with this issue.
RESOLVED that the actions undertaken in respect of the Affordable Warmth Strategy be noted.