Liz on 5live over cold weather deaths

cold-weather.jpgThis week, Liz asked her first Prime Minister's Question on the unnecessary and unfortunate cold weather deaths that occur every winter. 

Today Liz went on BBC Radio 5live to discuss the issue further. 

As Liz mentioned in her question, there were 18,200 EWM last year (in England and Wales), and though she appreciate the Prime Ministers response that each death is a “tragedy” Liz was disappointed with his attempt to make this point a party political matter.

Furthermore his criticisms were largely inaccurate as excess winter mortality for the previous year (2012/13) was 31,100 in England and Wales – up 29% from the previous year. We believe this was largely due to the average winter temperature being almost 100% warmer in 2013/14 than 2012-13 – 6.2 v 3.4°C.

In addition, whilst we should all welcome the fall, we estimate over 5,000‎ people still died needlessly last year because they couldn't afford to adequately heat their homes (this is based on the World Health Organisations assumption that 30% EWDs attributable to cold homes, this equates to 5460 deaths last winter). Based on looking at the five year average (see table below) this also means that at least 30,000 vulnerable people have perished needlessly over this Parliament due to cold homes.


TABLE 1: Excess winter deaths* and EWD Index** by Region and country of usual residence







5 year avg

England and Wales






Beyond, needless premature deaths, the current situation also continues to put a huge pressure on limited and stretched resources and the cost of morbidity caused by cold homes is growing year on year. This has resulted in the NHS currently bearing a yearly £1.5b burden of treating cold related illnesses.

Liz is therefore joining with NEA in seeking a cross party consensus on the need for a long-term, sustainable funding revenue stream to radically improve the fabric of our homes. There is strong and growing evidence that investing public funds would generate for the country (and particularly HM Treasury) more revenue than under a business-as-usual approach. In addition to providing a sustainable solution to unaffordable fuel bills, your support can therefore significantly increase GDP, create over 100,000 additional private sector jobs and stimulate economic activity within poorer communities.

In Heywood and Middleton, 4100 households (9.2%) live in fuel poverty.

In North West, 335344 households (11.3%) live in fuel poverty.

Fuel poor households in North West typically need to pay £507 more than their more affluent neighbours to sustain a warm home.

Last year there were 57 excess winter deaths in Heywood and Middleton. NEA believes 30% of these were attributed to cold homes.

There were at least 4600 excess winter deaths in North West every year. NEA believes 30% of these were attributed to cold homes.

65.1% of known properties in North West are at the lowest standards of energy efficiency.

For every 1,000 Heywood and Middleton homes, on average 57.2 received support from the main national energy efficiency programme despite all households paying for the policy through their energy bill. Your regional average is detailed below.

For every 1,000 homes in the North West region the average number benefiting from the main national energy efficiency programme is currently 57.6.

 You can hear Liz's radio segment here:


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