Belinda Irons: Working hard to end Fuel Poverty in Uttlesford.

I’m Belinda Irons and as one of the newest R4U candidates, I’d like to introduce myself.

I live in the furthest reaches of Uttlesford on the Essex, Cambridge, Hertfordshire border with my family and four dogs. Working as the parish clerk, I try to do my very best for my community, a community that I love!

I regularly speak with older residents, and the most frequent issue of concern I hear about is the high cost of home heating. There is no gas in my village, so the most cost effective heating fuel is oil. I have been told that some of the elderly residents spend more than £1,000 a year just to heat their homes. This is a huge expenditure for someone who is on a pension, and a significant stress in what should be a happy retirement.

If I am elected I would like to work hard to make sure that all our residents are taken out of fuel poverty by using modern materials to increase the heat retention levels of their homes, and making sure that new properties built in the area are built to the highest energy efficient levels. This will help reduce fuel costs, and enable those in energy efficient homes to have more to spend on what they want, rather than using their hard won money to have it leak out of their draughty and poorly insulated homes. At the moment, there is nothing in Planning Law which means that developers have to build to the highest energy efficiency levels available. Developers can and do promise high level specifications, but these promises cannot be enforced. This situation could be improved to make sure that developers have to deliver energy efficient buildings suitable for the future.