10 November 2008

Parliamentary questions from Andrew George, the MP for St Ives, have exposed
the extra costs for people in Cornwall using the government’s national Warm Front scheme.

This provides help with paying for heating and insulation for vulnerable householders undertaken through selected installers. There’s a grant from the government but the householder has to pay towards the cost if it exceeds the grant. The scheme covers things like central heating, loft and wall insulation, and draughtproofing.

Here’s what the questions revealed.

Percentage of those helped under the scheme who had to pay something 1 June 2005-31 March 2008 (I have turned the numbers in Hansard into percentages):

St Ives 31 percent
Cornwall 29
England 20

Average contribution requested from householders helped under the Warm Front scheme in £:

St Ives constituency 1025.74
Cornwall 1018.99
England (all) 538.00

Hansard 3 July 2008 columns 1087W-1088W for percentages and 4 November 2008 columns 400W-401W for costs.

Andrew George, the MP for St Ives, raised this issue back in February. He has recently suggested that the scheme should “ make greater use of local contractors who can complete work at a cheaper rate than the centralised private management company currently in charge of the scheme.” That is a sensible proposal which would help local people and bring financial fairness to the scheme in Cornwall.

The parliamentary answers reveal unacceptable price differences. The government must look again at the working out of the scheme in Cornwall and ensure more equality.

15 June 2009

Matthew Taylor asked how many people over sixty had received a Warm Front grant in Cornwall: the answer is 10 681 households were helped in the eight years 2000/01-2007/08 and 1383 April 2008-January 2009 (Hansard 15 June 2009 column 128W)

18 May 2012
Hansard 17 May 2012 column 692 Andrew George (Libdem St Ives):
“…Warm Front was, in my view, undermined by the extortionate charges of a small cartel of suppliers. Given that only 22 companies are so far among the providers for the green deal, can the Minister assure us that local fitters and local suppliers can be part of the programme, so that costs are competitive?”