Hundreds sign petition for energy price freeze

NEARLY 300 people have signed a petition to freeze energy bills.

John launched the campaign in early November, and supporters have signed up during street stalls in Goldthorpe and Wickersley.

People were also given advice on keeping energy bills down and some received ‘warm packs’ containing a hot water bottle, socks, blanket, gloves, a thermometer, soups and porridge.

The petition calls on David Cameron to freeze energy bills immediately. Under the Coalition gas and electricity bills have gone up £300.

Ed Miliband has pledged to freeze gas and electricity bills until 2017, while sorting out the energy market. It would save a typical family £120 a year.

People can also sign the petition online here.

John is also assessing the impact of energy prices on local businesses, after hearing more bosses’ concerns that rising energy bills and other running costs are putting extra pressure on their cash flow and confidence to expand.

A two-year price freeze would free up £3,600 for the average business. Nationally, companies say gas and electricity bills are their second largest overhead.

John has asked Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce director Andrew Denniff for more information on energy costs in the area and to put the issue on the agenda for their next meeting.

The MP said: “Freezing gas and electricity bills is one of the fastest ways we can support the local economy and help people struggling with the rising cost of living.

“Year after year, we’re seeing inflation-busting price hikes and the Government need to get a grip of the problem.

“David Cameron could bring in an energy bill freeze immediately, and people in Rotherham are sending a strong message that he should.”

Jeanette Mallinder, Rotherham Carers’ Forum coordinator, said: “These are difficult times for our most vulnerable and we are trying to do what we can to support them.

“The free warm packs will help older people keep warm this winter.”