An estimated 10,000 deaths are caused each year from cold homes each winter.

Fewer pensioners in Burnley are receiving financial help to keep them warm over winter than a decade ago, figures reveal.

Charity National Energy Action says cold weather has a “devastating” impact on frail and elderly people, with an estimated 10,000 deaths nationally caused from cold homes each winter. Winter Fuel Payments were introduced in 1997 to tackle fuel poverty amongst pensioners.

Households with someone receiving a state pension are automatically entitled to a tax-free sum of between £100 and £300 each year towards the heating bill. Payments are normally made in November or December.

The latest Department for Work and Pensions data shows 15,920 elderly people received winter fuel payments in Burnley in 2018-19, down 12% from 2009-10.

This mirrored the trend across Great Britain, where 11.6 million recipients were counted – a decrease of 9% over the period.

The most common sum handed to Burnley residents was £100, which accounted for two in five payments last year.

This support “could be lifesaving” for those who cannot afford to heat their home during the cold weather, said NEA director of policy and research Peter Smith.

This support “could be lifesaving” for those who cannot afford to heat their home during the cold weather, said NEA director of policy and research Peter Smith.