Debate to centre around insulating Calderdale homes to stop people falling into fuel poverty

Insulate, insulate, insulate – Calderdale Council will debate a motion calling for better insulation of homes to be a leading option to protect people against being trapped, or falling into, fuel poverty.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Sunday, 20th March 2022, 7:15 am

The motion, submitted by the Labour group, will be debated at the meeting of full Calderdale Council when it meets in the council chamber at Halifax Town Hall next Wednesday (March 23, from 6pm and webcasted on the council’s Public-i channel).

Coun Silvia Dacre (Lab, Todmorden), who is also Cabinet member for Resources, said the council welcomed the fuel rebate given by the Government and payable to Council Taxpayers whose homes are in Bands A to D and the discretionary scheme which is being used to help vulnerable non-Council Taxpayers.

But, her motion says: “These schemes do not go far enough to protect those on low incomes who spend a higher proportion of their income on fuel or those ‘just about managing’ who will be tipped into fuel poverty by the expected rises in fuel costs.

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Debate around insulating Calderdale homes

“We are a relatively wealthy country.

“It is wrong that we have residents who have to choose between food or heating.”

Coun Dacre says a major issue is too many homes in the UK being inadequately insulated and the country is still building homes which will later have to be retrofitted with effective insulation.

She accuses the Government’s approach as being “piecemeal and chaotic” citing its scrapping of a flagship Green Homes Scheme as an example.

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine a stark reminder of risk of relying on foreign fossil fuels, a nationwide funded scheme of home insulation would address fuel poverty and also provide employment and reduce fossil fuel dependency, says Coun Dacre.

Her motion calls on councillors supporting asking Chief Executive Robin Tuddenham and Leader Coun Tim Swift (Lab, Town) to write to the Givernment’s Department of Levelling Up calling on it to impose stronger insulation requirements on all new homes without delay, adopt a strategic approach to retrofitting home insulation and to roll out a national scheme with adequate investment, and to adopt a strategic approach to energy generation, recognising both carbon reduction and national security imperatives.

Other business the council will consider are recommendations made by the council’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee on changes to taxi and private hire licensing policy.

Councillors will also receive any petitions which may be presented and members have the chance to quiz Cabinet members on a wide range of issues.

There is also the opportunity for the public to ask questions which have been received by the council in time for the meeting.

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