Elderly and disabled ‘fed up’ of fuel poverty protest in Stratford

Pensioners and disabled activists protested against the rising cost of energy among the bustling shopping crowds in Stratford on Saturday.

Around fifty people gathered outside one of the entrances to Westfield Stratford City for a demonstration organised by the Greater London Pensioner’s Association (GLPA), Disabled People Against Cuts, and Fuel Poverty Action.

Activists said they were motivated by EDF Energy becoming the fifth of the ‘Big Six’ energy companies to announce a price hike and the protest was also used to launch a GPLA petition to reinstate the Winter Fuel Allowance, and persuade providers to invest their profits rather than increasing customers’ bills.

Protestors held signs reading “Energy to meet our needs, not for corporate greed’ and leafleted shoppers for an hour before security moved them on.

Elizabeth Ziga, a protestor with Fuel Poverty Action, said: “People are fed up with our energy being produced to line the pockets of the Big Six while we’re left to suffer mammoth fuel bills and escalating climate change.

“We’re getting ripped off and left to freeze. Today’s protest, led by pensioners, will be the first of many. “Expect a winter of resistance.”

Martin Lawrence, managing director of Energy Sourcing and Customer Supply at EDF Energy, said: “We know that customers will not welcome this news and do not want to see prices going up.

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“Our new prices will however be cheaper on average than those of all the other major suppliers which have announced standard price rises so far this autumn. We’ve taken extra measures to make sure the most vulnerable benefit from the best deals and we continue to help customers reduce their bills with energy efficiency measures.”