New figures released by the ONS recently show that over the winter of 2016-17 there were 31,800 excess winter deaths among the over 65s from cold-related illness
This figure is up considerably compared to 20,800 the previous year. One third of all the excess winter deaths reported were caused by respiratory diseases.
Responding to the new figures, Age UK's Charity Director Caroline Abrahams, said:
"This dramatic jump in excess winter deaths in England is a terrible rebuke to anyone who thought it was 'job done' when it comes to keeping older people safe and sound through the winter. Remember that every one of these deaths was, by definition, preventable."
She also added that "many older people live in poorly insulated homes and worry about turning up the heating during the cold months, increasing their risk of ill health."
Lancashire has an ageing population. In comparison with the England and Wales average, it has higher proportions of people in the two oldest broad age groups of 45-64 year-olds and 65+. The largest single age group in Fylde is 64. That's the same in Wyre.
Most people heat their homes with gas. For those that have electric heating, around a third of the power they use is generated by gas. Having a supply of gas nearer to the point of use could help to lower distribution costs and translate into lower home energy costs in the future when compared to gas imported from overseas.
We can see evidence of this when we look at the historic price of gas paid by residential customers - prices were lower when most of our gas came from the North Sea, but have always been higher when we've been more dependent on imports.
Over 50% of the gas used by the elderly to stay warm is bought from overseas.
A domestic supply of shale gas from beneath Lancashire could one day help to keep the county's senior citizens healthy and warm through winter.
It's one of the reasons we're backing fracking everyday not just on #LancashireDay.