Big rise in death toll as winter worsens


180 people have died prematurely in Ashton-under-Lyne over the last five winters, according to shocking figures released by the Office of National Statistics. 

The reported number of 'excess deaths' in the constituency has averaged 36 a year, with the number of premature deaths nationally growing from 17,460 in 2009 to 43,900 in 2014.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that up to half of the deaths are caused by poorly insulated cold homes.

The ONS figures also show that fatalities amongst women have more than doubled and that people aged over 75 are the worst hit.

Local Labour MP Angela Rayner said: "These new figures show that government cuts are really hurting our most vulnerable neighbours.

"These figures are truly shocking, with 180 people dying early in the winter. 

"As the weather turns colder this week, I am really concerned about the many people, particularly the elderly, shivering at home in Ashton-under-Lyne. They are the victims of fuel poverty. 

"Regrettably it will be those people on the lowest incomes and in poor quality housing who will suffer because of the government’s lack of investment.”

 Clive Lewis, Labour’s Shadow Energy Minister, (pictured) says, “The latest figures show the highest number of EWDs since the winter of 1999, with many of these being older people, often living in homes with poor insulation.

"Yet the government is cutting back on life-saving energy efficiency measures by up to 65%. Labour believes that everybody has a right to access the basic level of energy they need to keep their home warm."


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