Campaigners unite to demand warm homes for all in Greater Manchester.
* On Friday 17th November, Manchester Friends of the Earth members will be joining Afzal Khan MP at Trinity House Community Resource Centre, Rusholme for a School COP28 event where we will be holding a community crafting session with school staff and children to co-create a striking patchwork quilt as a symbol of the pressing need to deliver on warm homes in Greater Manchester.
* At 10.30am, on Saturday 18th November, local organisations and residents are invited to join the Greater Manchester Day of Action for warm homes outside Angela Rayner’s MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Constituency office at Ashton Market.
* The Greater Manchester United for Warm Homes patchwork quilt will be displayed as well as a petition to Greater Manchester MPs demanding their support for a street-by-street insulation programme.
* These two events will be amongst many events taking place across the country as part of the national United for Warm Homes campaign.
**photos will be available**
With the coldest weeks of the year fast approaching, campaigners from Manchester Friends of the Earth and community groups across Greater Manchester are inviting people to join them to demand the solutions that will lower energy bills permanently and ensure no one goes cold in winter.
Local residents and partner organisations will show support for the rapid roll-out of home insulation in Greater Manchester, and an energy system powered by cheap renewables – both of which will slash bills and planet-warming emissions. These are the central demands of the United for Warm Homes campaign launched by Friends of the Earth last year, as well as additional financial support for those struggling most to heat their homes.
The patchwork Warm Homes quilt will serve as a centrepiece as campaigners deliver a petition – signed by over 1100 people – to Greater Manchester MPs asking them to back a council-led, street-by-street insulation programme locally.
Nearly two years since energy prices first began sky-rocketing, millions of people across the country are headed for yet another difficult winter, as bills remain staggeringly high and with government support now at an end.
Too many people are facing the impossible choice between eating and heating again this year – and off the back of record-busting profits for the companies fuelling the energy and climate crises – with rising rents, food prices and travel costs adding to the financial pressures felt by many.
In Greater Manchester alone, there are 543 ‘energy crisis hotspots’ – neighbourhoods where below-average incomes meet high fuel bills – according to analysis by Friends of the Earth. The environmental justice organisation has created an interactive map which identifies fuel poverty hotspots across England and Wales.
At the same time, there are over an estimated 700,000 homes with poor insulation in Greater Manchester – those with an energy performance rating of D or lower – making them inefficient and expensive to heat. By bringing the worst rated homes up to standard, prioritising action in the areas struggling most with energy affordability, the hardest hit households could save as much as £720 annually on their bills.
Despite being one of the cheapest and quickest ways to make a material difference to the nation’s bills, the government has failed to roll out a much-needed street-by-street insulation programme. Nor has it fully unlocked the potential of cheap, clean homegrown renewable power. Both of these measures would boost our energy security, end our reliance on costly gas, help to pull millions out of hardship and cut the UK’s emissions.
That’s why Manchester Friends of the Earth is bringing the fight for warm homes to Greater Manchester this November, to put an end to the cycle of spiralling energy costs and winters of hardship.
Amy Berrisford at Manchester Friends of the Earth, said:
“It’s almost two years since energy prices first shot up, yet we’re still no closer to addressing the root causes of our sky-high bills – our heat-leaking homes and reliance on costly gas. This is thanks to a shocking lack of action from our political leaders.
“It’s not right that so many people across Greater Manchester must endure another difficult winter because of these failings, while the companies getting rich off soaring energy prices and climate destruction go on profiting at our expense. Everyone deserves to live in a warm, comfortable home and have their basic needs met – we hope to unite communities in Greater Manchester under this vision for a better future.
“To make this a reality, we must see the rapid roll out of a street-by-street insulation programme in Greater Manchester, prioritising the areas that need it most – we hope that Greater Manchester MPs will back these vital measures.”
Afzal Khan MP for Manchester Gorton said:
“I am deeply concerned that over a quarter of constituents in Manchester Gorton live in fuel poverty. In some parts of my constituency, notably Fallowfield, Rusholme and Longsight, the picture is even bleaker, with nearly 40% of households affected in some areas. Many residents cannot afford to improve the energy efficiency of their home, or they live in privately rented accommodation and are therefore at the mercy of a landlord. To address fuel poverty we must acknowledge the need for retrofitting.”
“Retrofitting would address not only cold homes but the UK’s carbon emissions, because 23% of all emissions come from home heating and powering. I support calls for a Warm Home Plan to upgrade 19 million homes to be more energy efficient. This would cut household bills, reduce gas imports, and provide good local jobs. Fuel poverty is an issue of dignity. Households deserve to eat and feel warm this winter and every winter.”
Photographs and interviews with campaigners will be available to media on request.
For more information, or to request an interview or photographs, please contact: Pete Abel, Manchester Friends of the Earth, Mobile: 07951 642858, firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
1. From 10.30am on Saturday 18th November, we will assemble outside Ashton under Lyne Market – OL6 7JU. Map of location –north- west corner – top of Wellington Street.
2. Spokespeople will be available for media interviews on request.
3. Photographs of the finished quilt will be available to media.
4. Briefings about the need for warm homes in each Greater Manchester parliamentary constituency are available here.
5. View Friends of the Earth’s interactive map identifying fuel poverty hotspots across England and Wales.
6. Manchester Friends of the Earth is an award-winning environmental campaign group, raising awareness and lobbying for policy changes at a local, regional, national and international level. The group consists entirely of volunteers, and its campaigns are funded by membership fees and individual donations. Up-to-date information is available on the group’s website: www.manchesterfoe.org.uk. Manchester Friends of the Earth is a Licensed Local Group of Friends of the Earth, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. www.foe.co.uk
7.United for Warm Homes is a growing grassroots movement, powered by Friends of the Earth, to secure the national change that guarantees everyone benefits from a warm home that doesn’t cost the earth.
Neighbourhood by neighbourhood, people are coming together to support each through the cost-of-living crisis and build a diverse coalition of community groups that is too powerful to ignore.