Monday, 15 September 2014

Voicing concern for uninsulated Hyndburn Homes

Last Thursday, I voiced the concerns of many residents to the Secretary of State, concerning his decision to scrap the vital 'Home Improvement Fund' in Hyndburn. Scrapping the scheme will leave many homes with inefficient heating, and unmanageable bills.

The Home Improvement Fund targeted housing that was poorly insulated, and that was in dire need of restoration. According to the last comprehensive housing stock survey, the number of houses in Haslingden and Hyndburn built before 1919 is 78%, compared to the national average of 45%, meaning that the Home Improvement Funds could have had a disproportionately positive effect in Hyndburn.

Hyndburn constituency has tremendous problems with homes that need insulating and renewable energy and my question for the Secretary of State is how is he going to ensure that funding reaches constituents in Haslingdern and Hyndburn?

The Government scrapped the home improvement fund in order to finance a modest reduction in energy bills – many would argue letting the energy companies off the hook for their inflation-busting price hikes. This does not directly address the core problems of dilapidated housing, nor does it end the struggles of local people with spiraling energy bills. In fact bills have risen by £120 pounds and the £50 removed from home inmsulation measures is short sighted.

By simply capping energy bills, the government cannot secure permanent price reductions, resolving none of the key issues faced by these home owners.

Ttehe Secretary of State's reposnse that; "This Government has a very good record on energy efficiency...we made some changes to the ECO, and that was in order to take £50 off peoples bills" isnt' good enough.

Many people in Haslingdern and Hyndburn are living with spiral energy bills and poorly insulated houses who have rising bills. A comprehensive application of the Homes Improvement Fund, if applied to Haslingdern and Hyndburn, would pay for itself through long-term efficient insulation and cut much more than £50 off of people’s bills. Once again this Government has shown itself utterly unwilling to deal with the long-term problems in the UK economy and housing stock, instead focusing on short-term gimmicks which fail to resolve the long term issue of rising energy bills and poor home insulation particulalry in places like Haslingdern and Hyndburn which has such a poor housing stock.