Thousands of people in Boston are living in fuel poverty

Many people are living in fuel poverty.

Many people are living in fuel poverty.

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Around 3,196 people in the Boston area are living in fuel poverty - according to latest Government figures.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change estimates that approximately 11.4 per cent of households in the region are struggling, or are unable to heat their homes.

The figures come as Lincolnshire County Council says people could be missing out on the opportunity to get a free central heating system fitted as applications through the Lincolnshire Central Heating Fund must be made by the end of this month.

News of the number of people in fuel poverty has come as no surprise to Ian Evans, project manager at Boston Foodbank.

He said: “People are still in need. By the end of last year we saw an 18 per cent increase in the number of people coming to us for food support.

“One of the first people who came to us said they had to choose whether to eat or whether they could afford to heat their house.

“Obviously people can be in need because of benefit changes, or delays in their payment or due to sickness.

“The cost of living is increasing. Anybody can be in need. I cannot see the situation improving in the foreseeable future.”

Mandy Clarkson, from Public Health at Lincolnshire County Council said: “People living in fuel poverty are unable to heat their home to the right temperature at an affordable cost. Living in a cold house can really affect your health and wellbeing, especially if you already have a long-term illness.

“On top of that, relying on portable heaters or solid fuel can be costly and dangerous. “Funding could be available for both home-owners and those renting a property, if you receive certain income related benefits.”

To find out if you could be eligible, contact the Lincolnshire Home Independence Agency on 01522 516300 or email info@lincshia.org.

They will carry out entitlement checks, and arrange a technical home survey if you’re eligible.