Fuel poverty should be eliminated in Swindon by 2030, according to one Labour councillor.

And Swindon Borough Council could be asked to make sure that happens if Paul Dixon’s motion is agreed by members at a meeting tomorrow night.

Coun Dixon, who represents Eastcott, has put forward the motion which says it will: “instruct the chief executive to bring a report to cabinet setting out a detailed strategy to alleviate fuel poverty in Swindon by 2030.

“This will be achieved by improving energy efficiency of council and housing association housing stock, better enforcement of existing regulations on energy efficiency and property standards and improving tenants’ rights and providing information advice and guidance to those most in need.”

If the motion is passed the council will also join the End Fuel Poverty Coalition.

Coun Dixon referred to a story last year which suggested that nine per cent of households across the borough could not afford to heat their homes properly.

He said: “In 2020, this just shouldn’t be happening.

“There’s a lot that the council can do. One thing is that it can improve its own housing stock to make sure houses and flats are properly insulated.

“And I think it can put pressure on private landlords to do the same, so that homes take less heating.”

The councillor said fuel poverty was not necessarily a big issue on the doorstep, but added: “The people who live in my ward are no different from those elsewhere, and the problem is borough wide. I think it can often be hidden, it’s not something people want to talk about.

“We know that there’s a real issue in private rented accommodation – people who are on key card meters pay more for their electricity and gas than those who aren’t

“That penalises people on a lower income, and I think the council should also lobby the energy companies to address this.”

The cabinet’s member for housing Cathy Martyn said: “The Conservative administration has been working hard to help residents with their energy bills.

"We have been promoting finding the best possible tariff, we have helped residents to access grants and we already have a statement of intent for working with energy companies.

“I would encourage the Labour party to spend a bit more time trying to learn about what the council already does before they try to just grab some headlines

“It is clear from the information received from officers that we are already doing most of what Labour have asked for in their motion.”

The latest Department for Work and Pensions data showed 34,630 elderly people received winter fuel payments in Swindon in 2018-19, down 5 per cent from 2009-10.