Articles

The quiet skills and business revolution: the apprenticeship boom.

Apprenticeships are booming in the Royal Borough – and across Britain.

Why I don’t want Scotland to vote for independence

Scottish independence may seem irrelevant to some people. Here we are in Surbiton. We don’t have a vote in the referendum. We’re nearer to France than we are to Scotland. It won’t really affect us.

Ed Davey: Non-nuclear energy approach is “negligent” and “risky”

This second article by Paul Walter first appeared in Liberal Democrat Voice:

On Monday, I summarised the appearances of Ed Davey at last weekend’s Social Liberal Forum conference in London. Here, I outline some of the views expressed and initiatives described by Ed on the day, including during a bloggers’ interview:

Using less energy

Fuel poverty is a serious issue. Energy inefficient building stock is a key cause.

Our climate change bulldog

This article by Paul Walter first appeared in Liberal Democrat Voice:

On Saturday, while much of the country was enjoying the sunshine, I spent two hours studying and listening to The Right Honourable Edward Davey MP FRSA.

In the wonderful surroundings of the new headquarters of Amnesty International, Ed addressed the Social Liberal Forum conference on “Energy and climate change – the balance between state and market”. He was then interviewed by four bloggers: Jonathan CalderMatthew HulbertCaron Lindsay and myself.

My feelings during all this were similar to when Steve Webb addressed a local party supper club. I was thinking “Hey, this guy is doing fantastic, long-term stuff. Why the heck haven’t I heard about it before?”.

Investing in green energy

This article first appeared in Liberal Democrat Voice.

Today I published the Government’s first ever ‘Energy Investment Report’.  It shows how Liberal Democrats in Government have delivered on jobs and investment in energy – particularly green energy – and shows the plan we now have for this to continue for decades to come.

Let me be clear – investment in the energy sector has not been a ‘nice to have’.  We inherited a legacy of energy underinvestment from Labour and we’ve spent the last four years turning this around.   The sheer scale of the investment has already been huge: between 2010 and 2013 we’ve secured £45 billion of investment in electricity generation and networks alone.  The UK’s future energy infrastructure investment is larger than transport, communications and water spending combined.

Fix the EU's Carbon-Trading System

This article first appeared in BloombergView.

President Barack Obama recently said in an interview on climate and energy that if there’s one thing he would like to see, it would be for the U.S. to be able to put a price on carbon emissions. He is right -- an effective market-driven approach to carbon pricing is crucial to tackling climate change and reducing emissions. The U.K. was the first to adopt carbon trading in 2002, and it continues to trade under the European Union’s Emissions Trading System.

My local constituency advice surgeries: an insight

Most weeks, I hold two constituency advice surgeries – occasions when local people can come and see me with their problems – or just come to give me their views, face-to-face.

A better deal for people on pre-payment energy meters

This article first appeared in Liberal Democrat Voice:

Liberal Democrats in Government are doing everything possible to help consumers with their energy bills.  Just last week I announced that by the end of the year energy suppliers will halve the time it takes to switch energy supplier from the current five to two and a half weeks.  This is just the first step to achieving my ambition of achieving 24 hour switching.

In Europe, In Work

There are many reasons why I believe Britain must stay in the European Union.

The peace and security Europe has enjoyed for nearly 70 years is partly a result of European nations working more closely together than ever before. As we commemorate the centenary of the First World War this year, for many people peace will be reason enough to stay in the EU.

Massive boost for clean, green energy

Published in Liberal Democrat Voice:

Today I have announced the award of 8 new contracts for renewable electricity projects which will provide around £12 billion of private sector investment and once built will contribute around 4% of Britain’s electricity capacity.

These projects will support 8500 jobs and our overall electricity reform plans will generate over 200,000 green jobs. These projects and the jobs created will be across Britain – from the Moray Firth to Liverpool Bay and from Teesside to Norfolk.

Five of the projects are for offshore wind power generation – further reinforcing the UK’s No 1 position for offshore wind capacity and investment.

Davey welcomes extra funding for Kingston Hospital's "superb maternity services"

Kingston Hospital has been awarded extra funding to develop new maternity services where there are complications and where women are particularly vulnerable.

£700 tax cut promised, £800 delivered

The Budget has confirmed victory for the Liberal Democrats in our campaign to deliver an £800 tax cut for people on low and middle incomes.

Tesco withdraws Tolworth application – what next?

The news that Tesco has withdrawn its planning application to build a large supermarket by Tolworth roundabout has inevitably led to the question – so what happens now?

Gas profits

My post in Lib Dem Voice

Last year I asked Ofgem, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) & the new Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to start producing annual competition assessments which will look at the way energy companies operate in detail.  They will also set out any actions they deem necessary.

Campaign success, campaign update

Surbiton Post Office Modernisation and Surbiton station rezoning

In wishing everyone a “Happy New Year”, I’d like to update you on two of my long running local campaigns. From improving the service at local post offices to rezoning Kingston and Surbiton train stations, I think 2014 will be an interesting and critical year.

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