Glasgow City Council to outline fuel poverty demographic concerns at Scottish Parliament

Committee convener James Dornan MSP

The Scottish Parliament’s local government and communities committee will take evidence from local authorities, housing associations and energy efficiency experts tomorrow as it continues its examination of proposed legislation which sets a new target relating to the eradication of fuel poverty.

Scottish Borders Council, North Lanarkshire Council, Glasgow City Council, East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, Energy UK, Warmworks, Calor Gas and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks will give evidence.

In its written evidence to the committee, Glasgow City Council outlined its concerns regarding a change in the demographic profile away from older households to younger households and families in social rented and private rented sectors in the city. 39% of older households in Glasgow are in fuel poverty compared to 27% of families, it said.

The council added that it is “extremely concerned” by the change in the vulnerability age threshold from 60 to 75 as the life expectancy for Glasgow residents is much lower despite improvements in life expectancy for men and women in the last 15 years.

Whilst improvements have been made, life expectancy in Glasgow remains significantly lower than in Scotland and the gap between the city’s most deprived and affluent communities persists. The average life expectancy in Glasgow is 71.6 years for men and 78 for women however the Glasgow Centre for Population Health estimated that between 2008 and 2012, some neighbourhoods were as low as 66 years for men.

Ahead of tomorrow’s meeting, convener of the local government and communities committee, James Dornan MSP, said: “There are thousands of people right across Scotland who desperately struggle to keep their homes warm, especially during the winter months.

“This week, our committee will continue to examine the Fuel Poverty Bill and will take evidence from local authorities, housing associations and energy efficiency experts.

“We want to hear their thoughts on the proposed Bill, whether it should be strengthened and how the legislation could impact some of the most vulnerable people in society.”

Last week the committee took evidence from Existing Homes Alliance Scotland, Citizens Advice Scotland, East Ayrshire Citizens Advice Bureau, Energy Action Scotland and Highlands and Islands Housing Associations Affordable Warmth Group.

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