Protests of around 50 people were seen outside Scottish Power’s HQ yesterday. Falkirk’s Forgotten Villages – Ending Fuel Poverty, a pressure group formed late last year by residents of Falkirk, Fiona Gordon and Claire Mackie mobilised members and gathered outside Scottish Power’s company headquarters on St Vincent Street, Glasgow on Monday the 24th of August as part of their campaign against “astronomical” gas and heating bills, and the “fuel poverty crisis”.
The pressure group claims that residents of Falkirk with energy provided by Scottish Power are falling victim to exorbitant energy prices due to both the newly installed THERMAflow electric heating system recommended by Falkirk Council, as well as Scottish Power’s own unreasonable energy tariffs. Many being charged prices of up to £150 a week. Earlier this year the group had seen success to an extent through both an online petition which afforded a meeting with Scottish Power chief executive Andrew Ward, and lobbying which made the council agree to installing gas central heating in 700 homes around the Braes area of Falkirk. Yet that being said, the council has stated the installations will not proceed prior to winter. This most recent protest comes in light of this fact.
Previously in television interviews, Scottish Power CEO, Andrew Ward, has stated that there is assistance available for all those concerned and that Scottish Power are available for any enquiries over the phone. However, Falkirk’s Forgotten Villages have made it clear they don’t see this to be the case. On the contrary, Claire Mackie states no help is provided (other than a single £20 emergency payment) and that Scottish Power are difficult to reach by telephone. In an official statement, Scottish Power have stated it remains ‘committed to working with the local community to address their concerns” and that “We sympathise with the tenants who have had long standing issues due to the heating system the local authority installed in their homes and can understand their frustrations.