We all know the cold can be a killer but recent figures on the number of excess winter deaths, the number of extra deaths attributed to the winter period, starkly sets out the scale of the problem. Provisional data released recently shows that 4,000 additional people died as a result of the winter last year, that’s more than double the year before.
The statistics should set alarm bells ringing for the Mayor of London, who has done very little to tackle one of the root causes, fuel poverty, in North East London.
Whilst there are undoubtedly many reasons for excess winter deaths, data shows that the coldest 25% of homes are almost three times more likely to suffer a death than the warmest quarter. It’s clear there’s far more we should be doing to improve insulation and help prevent fuel poverty.
This is above all a question of looking after the most vulnerable Londoners. 77% of households in fuel poverty in England are classed as vulnerable, that is one containing children, the elderly, or someone with a long-term illness or disability.
The Mayor must wake up to the fact that we have a “Cold Homes Crisis” in London, the mild weather won’t last forever and when it ends many of my constituents risk being left out in the cold.