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Local AM backs campaign to end Fuel Poverty in Wales

2009 Hydref 21 12:57 PM

Montgomeryshire AM Mick Bates has added his support to a new campaign to eradicate fuel poverty in Wales.

The Fuel Poverty Coalition is a new group led by Consumer Focus Wales and NEA Cymru, which has come together to drive forward the fuel poverty agenda in Wales and campaign for fuel poverty to be eradicated. They have developed a Fuel Poverty Charter to inform the development of the forthcoming Welsh Assembly Government Fuel Poverty Strategy for Wales.

Around 320,000 people in Wales are currently living in fuel poverty.The Welsh Assembly Government has admitted that it will not reach itsfirst target to eradicate fuel poverty amongst vulnerable groups by2010.

Commenting, Welsh Liberal Democrat AM Mick Bates said: "People areconsidered to be fuel poor if they spend more than 10% of their incomeon heating their home, which is a situation that affects one in fourhouseholds in Wales.

"I'm backing the fuel poverty charter, because it's a disgrace that somany people in Wales are spending so much of their money on heatingtheir homes.

"Fuel poverty is not a new issue, it affects so many people year on yearwith devastating effects, so it is unacceptable that the WelshGovernment will fail to reach its 2010 target.

"I know from talking to constituents the huge impact that a cold homecan have on a person's health and quality of life. I want to work withthe organisations that have come together to produce this charter sothat together we can wipe out fuel poverty in Wales."

The Fuel Poverty Charter calls for:

1. A detailed action plan setting out how and when fuel povertywill be eradicated in Wales;

2. Support for all fuel poor households to stay warm - until fuelpoverty is eradicated;

3. A co-ordinated and united approach across the statutory sector(at UK and Wales level) that involves partners from the private,voluntary and community sectors in Wales.