“Fuel poverty is a reality for millions.”

Yorkshire branches take “Energy for All” message to the streets

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Unite Community Branches across South and West Yorkshire held street stalls last weekend (15 June), continuing to raise public awareness of the “Unite4Energy for All” campaign.

The campaign was launched last December and aims to highlight the need for action on fuel poverty and is demanding: 

  • An end to fuel poverty – with every household receiving a free amount of energy to cover basic needs
  • Government support for home insulation
  • An end to both forced disconnections and the force-fitting of prepayment meters
  • Fair energy pricing
  • Public ownership of energy

Unite Community Leeds and Wakefield joined forces with the Unite Retired Members Leeds Branch to run a very busy stall in Morley, whilst over in Sheffield the Unite Community South Yorkshire Branch were getting lots of support from the public who know first hand how much of an issue fuel poverty is.

Following the street stall in Morley, Leeds, the Leeds, Wakefield and York Branch campaign coordinator Jon Farley, said: 

“The most interesting thing was that people across the political spectrum were keen to sign the petition. There’s a lot of discontented people out there, but not so much hope. Even so I was struck by how many people thanked us for trying to do something.”

Matt Hannam, Unite regional community coordinator for North East, Yorkshire & Humber said: “The public response has been overwhelming. The cost-of-living crisis has not gone away, and fuel poverty is a reality for millions. 

“The postcards were a fantastic device for members to engage and talk with people and at times we had people queuing up at street stalls to sign a card.”

The Unite Community campaign has involved around 40 branches across the UK with hundreds of members involved, helping to run street stalls, organise protests, and host public meetings. Community members have engaged with tens of thousands of people and the public mood has been clear. After decades of privatisation and profiteering people have had enough, and people want fundamental change.

Matt added that: “Unite Community members have really been amazing, designing leaflets, postcards, banners and coordinating two national days of action as well as a visit to Downing Street in May!”

Unite4Energy for All has a campaign page on Facebook where you can keep up to date on all the latest activities and get involved. 

By Keith Hatch