Birmingham United for Warm Homes Press Release
For immediate release:
EVENT: Campaigners unite to demand warm homes for all in Birmingham
- Local organisations and residents are invited to join the Day of Action for Warm Homes at Northfied Arts Forum from 10 -4pm on Saturday 18th November.
- It will be one of many taking place across the country as part of the national United for Warm Homes campaign
With the coldest weeks of the year fast approaching, campaigners from Birmingham United for Warm Homes are inviting people to join them for a creative day of community action to demand the solutions that will lower energy bills permanently and ensure no one goes cold in winter.
The event, which will take place in Northfield on Saturday 18th November from 10-4pm, will bring together local residents and partner organisations to show the strength of support for the rapid roll-out of home insulation in Birmingham, 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 day of action will involve a community crafting session, where members of the public and supporters are invited to co-create a striking patchwork quilt as a symbol of the pressing need to deliver on warm homes in Birmingham. It will serve as a centrepiece as campaigners deliver a petition – signed by concerned Birmingham residents – to Gary Sambrook asking him 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 Birmingham alone, there are 300 fuel poverty hotspots – neighbourhoods where incomes are low but energy bills are higher than average – 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, it is estimated that 66 percent of homes in Birmingham have poor insulation – 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 Birmingham United for Warm Homes is bringing the fight for warm homes to Northfield this November, to put an end to the cycle of spiralling energy costs and winters of hardship.
Gilbert Sekelani Volunteer at Birmingham United for Warm Homes, 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 Birmingham 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 Birmingham 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 Birmingham, prioritising the areas that need it most – we hope that Gary Sambrook will back these vital measures.”
Photographs from the petition hand-in, and interviews with campaigners will be available to media on request.
For more information, or to request an interview or photographs, please contact: Libby Harris, Campaigns Support Worker for Birmingham Friends of the Earth, 01216326909, email@example.com
Notes to editors
1.Event details: Saturday 18 November, drop in 10am-4pm at Northfield Arts Forum, Northfield Shopping Centre, B31 2JU
2. Birmingham Friends of the Earth believes the environment is for everyone. We want a healthy planet and a good quality of life for all those who live on it. We inspire people to act together for a thriving environment. We campaign on a range of issues including climate change, biodiversity, waste, transport, and food. For further information visit: www.birminghamfoe.org.uk
- Spokespeople will be available for media interviews on request.
4. Photographs of the finished quilt will be available to media after the event.
5. View Friends of the Earth’s interactive map identifying fuel poverty hotspots across England and Wales.
6. More information about Birmingham United For Warm Homes visit: https://birminghamfoe.org.uk/birmingham-united-for-homes
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