Monday, 30 January 2012

Fuel poverty action warms up Wood Green

Haringey Solidarity Group

Fuel poverty action warms up Wood Green
- in a protest against the thousands of deaths from cold in London each winter, local activists call for fuel price cuts, and for all Haringey's shops, pubs and public buildings to welcome those who wish to get warm

On Sunday 29th January, 15 Haringey residents took part in a Haringey Fuel Poverty Warm Up action in Wood Green Shopping City mall (first floor), N22. The Haringey event was part of a nationwide week of protests against ever-increasing fuel bill charges, and the shocking 25,000 excess deaths from cold last winter. It was organised by Haringey Solidarity Group, supported by Haringey Housing Action Group and the Haringey Alliance for Public Services.

Throughout the hour-long lunchtime event the activists set up an advice stall on the first floor, held banners [NO MORE DEATHS FROM COLD and GAS BILLS KILL - FUEL POVERTY ACTION], distributed 500 leaflets and created a friendly space to encourage people to come and sit and share free hot drinks and snacks. There was a very positive reaction from the general public there, and the activists ignored attempts at harassment by security managers. The activists then visited the Wetherspoons Pub en masse to leaflet all the customers and talk to the manager there about these issues.

The demands were:
* No more deaths from hypothermia
* Reduce fuel bills now - no to cut-offs
* Insulate all homes effectively
* Reclaim public space
* Expose the scandal of energy companies' profits
* Yes to renewable energy - phase out fossil fuel energy production to prevent climate catastrophe

A spokesperson for the organisers said: ' Fuel poverty is a public scandal causing thousands of excess deaths each winter as the Big Six energy corporations rake in massive profits. People's welfare must come first. We call on all shops, pubs and public buildings to welcome in all those who wish to get warm. '

Note 1: Photo may be used by media for news reporting purposes with credit to 'Haringey Solidarity Group'

Note 2: Two key local organisations donated literature to hand out at the event, and both are planning public meetings on these issues in the coming month:
- Hornsey Pensioners Action Group is holding a 'How Can We Tackle Pensioners' Fuel Poverty' public meeting on Wednesday 15th February, 1.30pm at Hilldene Court, 11 Alexandra Park Rd, N10
- The Sustainable Haringey network is holding a 'What Is Low Carbon Living?' public meeting on Wednesday 29th February, 7pm at Wood Green Library

National info:
Local info:


1 in 4 UK homes are in fuel poverty, many have to choose between heating and eating this winter. The Office for National Statistics calculates that there were 25,700 excess winter deaths last winter in comparison to other seasons. Many of these deaths were due to the fact that people could not afford to heat their homes. 6 companies have a 99% monopoly over UK energy and are making record profits from the deadly bills. The government is cutting the Winter Fuel Allowance and local councils and landlords are doing little about the shameful state of housing and insulation.

The ‘Big Six’ energy companies are: British Gas, EDF, npower, Scottish & Southern Electric, e.on, and Scottish Power. Their profits per customer rose by over 700% over the course of a few months in 2011.

Recent ‘reductions’ to energy prices of around 5% come after rises of around 15-20% last year, and so are not really reductions at all.

Fossil Fuels are running out and becoming ever more expensive. The energy companies pass this cost on to consumers, yet they blame ‘green’ initiatives for the rise in price. The profit-driven addiction to fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) is also behind climate change, which is already killing 300,000 people each year around the world through extreme weather events, floods, droughts and crop failures.

The Big Six and Government are making all the decisions about our energy, and they’re prioritising private profits over our rights to warmth and a safe environment. We want to see decision-making by the people for the people. Instead of paying billions in profits and bonuses to energy company bosses, we should secure sustainable energy and warm homes for all.

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