Stornoway locals to share fuel poverty concerns with Holyrood committee

People from Stornoway are to meet the Scottish Parliament’s local government and communities committee to share their experiences of being in fuel poverty.

The meeting is a part of the committee’s examination of a new Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill. The Bill sets a new target that no more than 5% of households in Scotland will live in fuel poverty by 2040.

As part of the visit on December 6 and 7, the locals will be asked how fuel poverty impacts their day-to-day lives, any barriers to seeking support and what could be improved in the Bill.

In the Western Isles, there are far higher rates of fuel poverty than most urban or suburban areas in Scotland, with up to 58% of households struggling to keep their homes warm.

Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s local government and communities committee, James Dornan MSP, said: “As the local government and communities committee, it’s really important that we hear from a wide range of people across Scotland – particularly on new laws that will impact all of us.

“That’s why our committee is very keen to hear directly from communities in Stornoway to find out more about their experiences of fuel poverty and how these may differ to those living in urban areas.

“In the evidence we’ve received, we heard that people who live in island and rural communities can experience more extreme cases of fuel poverty because incomes overall are lower and living costs are higher.

“We would like to thank those who take the time to meet with us in Stornoway. Our focus groups and visits will help to shape our work in examining the Bill, and whether it should be improved to help tackle and eradiate fuel poverty in the future.”

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