It is not often I get such a large audience for delivering a petition; it is as if I am the warm-up act for another event—which is actually entirely appropriate as the petition is about Falkirk’s forgotten villages and a campaign for ending fuel poverty. I pay particular tribute to Claire Mackie and Fiona Gordon of Slamannan, who collected over 1,500 signatures on another petition on this issue to deliver to Falkirk Council and to Scottish Power.
Scottish Power’s tariffs have doubled over a year, resulting in some of the residents of the villages paying as much as £150 a week to heat their homes—absolutely shocking. It will be of interest to many Members from across central Scotland, where there are some 230,000 people living in villages without gas. That brings me to the petition, which states:
The petition of residents of Linlithgow and East Falkirk,
Declares that concerns about the Thermal Flow Wet Electric Heating System that was installed in homes 2010/11 have reached an unacceptable level; notes that the unaffordability of the tie-in tariff has added food poverty and serious physical and mental health implications to fuel poverty suffered by those affected; also notes the resistance of Scottish Power, Neat Heat and Falkirk Council to address the problem; and further notes the wider implications of excessive UK energy costs.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to liaise with Scottish Power to resolve this long-standing issue in any way possible; enforce accountability and recompense to those adversely affected; and consider legislation to energy prices.
And the petitioners remain, etc.