New figures reveal more people died in winter across the borough last year than the previous year.

The new figures from the Office of National Statistics state 160 people died during the winter period of 2016-17, this is 40 more deaths than the same period a year earlier.

Jennette Arnold, Waltham Forest London Assembly Member, has warned that this rise could continue unless “significant action is taken to improve housing standards and address fuel poverty in London”.

Provisional statistics for this year state there were 4,200 excess winter deaths across London; a 23 per cent increase on last year’s numbers.

Respiratory diseases have been cited as a major contributing factor to the rise in numbers, as well as fuel poverty causing people to live in cold homes, giving rise to associated health issues.

City Hall has launched a £2.5 million investment as part of its Warmer Homes scheme enabling landlords, renters and homeowners to bid for up to £4,000 to install better heating and insulation measures.

Ms Arnold, said: “It is extremely concerning to see this increase in excess winter deaths locally, and unacceptable that so many Londoners this winter will be trapped in cold homes.

“This is a deep and entirely preventable social injustice. Sadly, this tragic rise is likely to continue, unless significant action is taken to improve housing standards and address fuel poverty in the capital.”

Ms Arnold then called for greater support from the government to tackle this issue.

Cllr Louise Mitchell, Waltham Forest Council’s cabinet member for housing, echoed Ms Arnold’s sentiment and called on homeowners, tenants and landlords to apply for the Warmer Homes funding.

She added that the council is working with The HEET Project, a charity based in Walthamstow that helps fuel poor homes save money on bills, stay warm and prevent the associated health risks and the two are jointly seeking funding opportunities.

The cabinet member said the authority’s team would work to crack down on poor private rental conditions and protect tenants from falling into fuel poverty or living with poor insulation in their homes.

Cllr Mitchell said: “Fuel poverty is not just an issue in Waltham Forest, or even London; all across the country people face a stark choice between heating or eating. The Government must take action and provide more funding for energy efficiency measures to enable local authorities to help and support residents when they need it most.”