Need for repairs to help tackle fuel 
poverty highlighted by local MSP

Nigel Don

Nigel Don

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Angus North and Mearns MSP Nigel Don has highlight the need to prioritise repairs to tackle fuel poverty in pre-1919 residential properties.

Mr Don said: “Those pre-1919 buildings are not just the byres, the bothies or our ancient castles; they are the cottages, houses and tenements that are at the centre of our cities, towns and villages.

“Those buildings are the heart of our built heritage. They were built to last; indeed, the ones that we are concerned about have, of course, lasted at least thus far. Unfortunately, condition surveys tell a sorry tale.

“Around 90 per cent of pre-1919 properties need repairs. Many problems are in roofs and walls, and 70 per cent of faults are in critical elements.”

Mr Don continued: “The evidence around us suggests that most of us do not give much thought to those aspects of our homes. That might be because the issue is out of sight and out of mind - we are much more likely to redo the kitchen or bathroom.

“According to Government figures, the £600 million that is spent each year on pre-1919 buildings has not reduced levels of disrepair.

“Homes that are not wind and watertight will waste huge amounts of heat. It follows that there is little point in spending money on insulation if the escaping heat will bypass the insulation. Loft insulation that is soggy because it has been leaked on will just make matters worse.

“We must reduce energy use before we find ways of using renewable heat or microgeneration.”

Reflecting on fuel poverty he added: “We need to put that in the context of climate change and global warming. It is clear that we must eliminate wasted heat, especially if it is generated from fossil fuels.

“We also need to make our houses more thermally efficient - the welfare, health and social benefits of doing so are obvious to us.”