The Liberal Democrat councillors who are leading the local campaign against fuel poverty, have welcomed the news that the Prime Minister is planning on including an Energy Bill in this week’s Queen’s Speech.
Cllr Penny Shelton who is the Council’s Lead Member for Housing and Cllr Rolson Davies who is Executive Member for Health, have said whilst they are supportive of any Government action which halts the dominance and unfair pricing practices of the ‘big six’ energy companies, they are concerned about the timing of this well over-due bill.
Cllr Shelton said: “We have been doing all we can at a local level to provide financial assistance and practical help to keep local properties warm, yet the Labour Government has consistently stifled our efforts by failing to tackle the wider problems of rocketing fuel bills, pensioner poverty and energy inefficiency in homes.
“It is now understood that the Prime Minister wants to include a bill in the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday which will enforce social tariffs and fairer pricing practices on the largest energy suppliers. Local Liberal Democrats welcome this news – but we are disappointed that the Prime Minister has taken so long to wake up to our calls for action.”
Cllr Davies added: “After nearly 13 years of Labour government, Gordon Brown has waited until the final 70 sitting days of this Parliament to suggest a bill which begins to address the national disgrace of fuel poverty in this country.
“I worry whether the Government has left enough time to get this important bill through Parliament or if it’s just another empty promise given in time to catch headlines before the election. With winter coming on, legislation to stamp out fuel poverty should already be in place. It should not just be being proposed.”