Articles

Green energy auction paves way for 27 new renewables projects and thousands of green jobs across the UK

This article first appeared in Liberal Democrat Voice:

This morning I announced the results of the first auction for green energy generation. The results are impressive – more clean energy at lower costs.

Thanks to this first renewable electricity competition of its kind, I have offered contracts to 27 renewable energy projects across the UK.  Enough to power 1.4 million homes and save the equivalent carbon emissions of taking 2 million cars off the road.

The projects include offshore wind and onshore wind and solar, and will create thousands of green jobs.

A better deal for commuters

Like thousands of local people, I travel on the train from Surbiton to Waterloo several times a week. And when you add in the other nine train stations in the Royal Borough – from Berrylands to Tolworth, Kingston to Malden Manor – you can understand why I campaign on so many rail commuter issues.

Kingston College is an “exemplar” of the Liberal Democrat focus on apprentices, says Ed Davey

On a visit to Kingston College on Monday 26 January 2015 Ed was given a guided tour of some of the excellent workshops within the college and had a chance to meet some of the eager and driven young apprentices on various schemes.

The importance of Pupil Premium

On a recent visit to two schools in the constituency, I was very pleased to hear once again that the Liberal Democrat initiative of ‘Pupil Premium’ payments were making such a key difference to schools and the children who attend them.

Save our weekly recycling

Your recycling may be about to change – from weekly collection to fortnightly. Kingston Council has surprised residents with proposals to require them to store all their recycling, except food, for two weeks. One week you’ll have to put out your glass and tins, the next week your paper and cardboard.

Christmas greetings

In wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, I hope your 2014 was as happy as mine when Emily and I were blessed with the birth of our daughter Eleanor: I'll always be grateful to the wonderful staff at Kingston Hospital's maternity unit.

Live from Lima

This article first appeared in Liberal Democrat Voice:

I’m half way through my third day at the Lima UN climate change talks and the negotiations look set to go to the wire this weekend.

But that’s not because there’s some crisis in the global talks – it’s because these are the most technically complex and politically challenging global negotiations ever. To make global agreements on how we move our carbon world to a low carbon world is an extraordinary task.

An Autumn Statement for more green energy and more help to keep energy bills down

This article first appeared in Liberal Democrat Voice:

Liberal Democrats in Government already have a record of green energy delivery to be proud of.  Renewable electricity generation and investment have both more than doubled since 2010 and our reforms will create 250,000 low carbon jobs by the end of the decade.  Britain is ranked No.1 in the world for offshore wind investment, onshore wind now produces around 5% of the UK’s electricity and solar generating capacity increased by 60% last year.

Evidence for better education policies – the case of free school meals

When a Government introduces a new policy you would hope Ministers have some evidence that the policy is likely to work. There are few areas more important than education for having an evidence-based approach to new policies than education. Children shouldn’t be used as experiments for a fashionable theory.

Signed, sealed and delivered, an ambitious climate change deal for Europe

This article was first published on Liberal Democrat Voice:

We’ve done it!  For Liberal Democrats in government, this EU climate deal is our most significant green win so far.  While Liberal Democrats are passionate about tackling climate change, the likes of Owen Paterson and UKIP seem to delight in talking down the threat that it poses, but that should make us even more determined to tell people why this deal is so crucial.

Tackling climate change

This article first appeared in Liberal Democrat Voice:

I’m writing from the Climate Change Summit in New York, hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. While Liberal Democrats don’t need reminding just how much of a threat climate change is – from the increased risks of flooding, to the impact on the world’s poorest – I thought it timely to give you an update on the progress we’ve made and what comes
next.

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?”.

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