environmental columnist tells council: ‘Start protecting vulnerable residents from terrible deaths in our cold winters’

News Desk (23 November, 2017) Columnists

Donnachadh McCarthy has been an environmental campaigner in Southwark since 1992 and is author of “The Prostitute State – How Britain’s Democracy Has Been Bought”

14507Environmental columnist Donnachadh McCarthy (Elizabeth Mischler)

As an eco-auditor, I deliver workshops to Southwark & London charities, who provide advice to vulnerable residents, on how they can help clients save money using eco-tips, on energy, food, transport and shopping.

I usually include the help available from the local council.

Last week, I gave such a workshop to a Camden charity.  The help available from Camden Council was impressive:

  1. Free home-energy efficiency visits to residents on benefits, to provide money saving advice
  2. Free Green Camden phoneline, offering advice on energy saving grants
  3. Free radiator heat reflectors, draught-excluders, water-tank jackets, energy-saving bulbs etc for pensioners, disabled etc.
  4. Grants for private home-owners/tenants, if elderly or on benefits for loft and wall insulation
  5. Grants for landlords to make homes warmer for tenants
  6. Camden Climate Fund – grants for renewable-energy schemes for businesses, charities and homes

I thought I would write this week’s column about council help available to Southwark’s pensioners, disabled and low income residents, to keep them warm and alive in winter, now that the winter chill is biting.

It took a while to find the council’s energy-efficiency section on their dreadful new website.

There were three almost totally blank pages about energy efficiency. But my blood boiled when I realised that the sum total of Southwark’s help was ZERO. From my search there was not a SINGLE project or scheme listed to help local vulnerable people!!!

Unlike Scandinavia, thousands of extra pensioners die of cold in the UK every winter, including Southwark.

Come on Cllr John, start protecting the lives of Southwark’s vulnerable residents from terrible deaths in our cold winters. If Labour Camden can do it, so can New Labour Southwark – no excuses.

In the absence of any Southwark Council help, please ring the national Energy Saving Advice Service: 0300 123 1234 to find out what help is available from the government and energy companies on energy efficiency and grants.

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