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Friday, 27 November 2015
Monday, 23 November 2015
In Hyndburn we have a very high proportion (over 50%) of energy inefficient solid wall (or hard to treat cavities) properties. We also have park homes and Age UK are running a campaign to raise awareness of their vulnerability to cold weather. Haslingden and Hyndburn has some of the oldest and coldest properties in the country, and people of all ages suffer from expensive to heat, poorly insulated housing.
I have spoken out about the scandal of cold homes backing the efforts of Energy Bill Revolution, AgeUKs campaign for warm homes, NEA's Warm Homes Campaign and Turn2US.
Shelter and Friends of the Earth have also supported campaigns to tackle cold homes and Shelter offer a dedicated housing helpline.
I am very happy to support Age UK’s warm park homes campaign (below) this winter. I will be writing to Amber Rudd, Secretary of State responsible on behalf park home owners.
Government cuts to local authorities though the Energy Companies Obligation and the Green Deal, has meant more people in Haslingden and Hyndburn living in cold homes, spending more of their money on heating. I am glad that Age UK is continuing to hold the Government to account.
Alongside local companies such as Isothane, I have lobbied the Government persistently to change policy towards energy conservation as it is the most efficient way of reducing energy. Locally Hyndburn Council has shown the way stripping out 5 rows of terraced houses in Woodnook and insulating them to a very high standard.
Thursday, 19 November 2015
Fwd: Design Council Spark Product Innovation Fund – up to £165k available to take inventions to market | Spread the word
Design Council Spark Product Innovation Fund – up to £165k available to take inventions to market – deadline for entries 14 December 2015 – apply online: http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/design-council-spark
Is your constituency home to the UK's next big invention? Do you know someone with a great product idea, but they now need support to make that idea a reality?
Following the success of the first round of Spark, Design Council has launched the second wave and the deadline for entries is midnight, Monday 14 December 2015.
Tuesday, 17 November 2015
I am writing as CEO of Save the Asian Elephants (STAE; www.stae.org) to inform you about the results of a new public opinion poll that shows overwhelming demand for government action.
The visit to the UK of Prime Minister Modi of India last week was a whistlestop tour with limited agenda and time for debate, and there are of course issues that remain to be addressed over the coming months. One of these is the dire situation for Asian elephants in India. The numbers of this ancient species are declining dramatically in the wild from poaching and loss of habitat, and they suffer greatly in captivity through brutal pajan "training", confinement and beating.
A new poll by leading research consultancy Populus (which included Asian and Hindu respondents) has found that 77% feel the Indian government is not doing enough to protect Asian elephants, and an overwhelming 81% consider it important that the UK government takes action to provide support for this, as promised in the Conservative Party's 2015 election manifesto.
Tourists in the UK want to make the right choice when booking holidays abroad, but have long been kept in the dark about the sinister reality of elephant experiences in Asia. Most are unaware that elephants used in tourism and in temples have been put through a violent "training" process called pajan. This involves complete isolation, deprivation of food, water and sleep and then brutal beating designed to "break their spirits". Many die during this process. Demand for elephants for tourism and temple use is met by the illegal capture of young from the wild. This is dangerous and violent and often goes wrong, resulting in the death of the baby elephant, and other herd members are also killed as they try to defend their young. The Populus poll found that 85% of those surveyed would avoid visiting a tourist experience involving elephants if they discovered that the elephants had been treated badly. This confirms that, if the reality of what happens behind the scenes were to be exposed fully, British tourists would overwhelmingly avoid these attractions. A massive 88% consider the process of pajan to be unjustified in training elephants for use in tourism and temples, and yet it continues to this day.
Wednesday, 11 November 2015
Solar Trade Association
Solar industry comments on admission that the UK is not on track to meet its renewables target
Leaked letter & evidence session exposes folly of attack on British solar power
The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Amber Rudd, whilst giving evidence at a Parliamentary committee confirmed yesterday that it was 'difficult to say' if the UK was on track to meet its 2020 renewable energy target of 15% of all energy from renewables. The UK target is lower than the pan-EU target of 20% because the UK has always trailed most other European countries on renewables deployment. In the letter, Amber Rudd confirmed that the UK is on track to reach just 11.5% Renewable Energy by 2020 – leaving the UK at risk of delivering only slightly better than half the contribution from renewables as the rest of Europe.
The Secretary of State also confirmed that they were looking at making up the targets potentially from importing renewable power from overseas. Amber Rudd has also highlighted the potential to increase the role of renewable transport, while underlining the Department for Transport's focus on electric vehicles. There is nothing in the EU Renewables directive that stipulates the share of the 15% between electricity, heat and transport.
Leonie Greene, Head of External Affairs said; "It is clearly absurd to be decimating the most cost effective renewable power technologies while exploring the potential to make up the UK renewable target shortfall by importing renewable electricity from overseas. The solar industry has already seen the Government prioritise public support towards more expensive overseas utilities over British solar. It is very difficult to understand the lack of interest in supporting British companies."
"The Secretary of State herself said she would rather meet the target at home so why is she decimating our industry & looking for electricity from overseas?"
The STA is extremely keen to see action on renewable heat, a sector highlighted by the Secretary of State. The UK is exceptionally poor on renewable heat and it has almost the lowest contribution in Europe. The solar thermal market has collapsed in recent years due to inadequate support.
The Solar Trade Association's £1 rescue plan for solar power would deliver 2.7GW of solar power by 2020. This amounts to just 0.17% of total energy in 2020 - the UK renewable energy target is 15% - leaving huge scope for advancing the heat and transport sub-targets. However, the £1 Plan would safeguard the solar power sector.
Leonie Greene said; "We are all for urgent action on renewable heat, but a sensible approach to renewable power does not, as Rudd suggests, mean 'abandoning' heat. There is plenty of scope to strongly ramp up renewable heat while providing a sensible framework to safeguard public investment in the British solar industry. It is not either/or. We are not on track to meet the 2020 targets, investor confidence has been severely damaged by recent policy chaos, the world is half way to dangerous climate change – the UK does not have a minute to waste to get its solar industry back on track."
Logic would dictate that if the UK is falling short in renewable heat, which now looks inevitable, it should make every effort to improve performance but also make up the shortfall in electricity, given the difficulties of making progress on transport. This is especially true if electric vehicles are going to be a contributor to the transport target as the Secretary of State suggested.
For further information or to request an interview, please contact:
Name: Sonia Dunlop
Title: Communications and Public Affairs Manager
Main line: 0203 637 2945
Background on the Solar Trade Association:
The mission of the Solar Trade Association is to empower the UK solar transformation. We are paving the way for solar to deliver the maximum possible share of UK energy by 2030 by enabling a bigger and better solar industry. We represent both solar heat and power, and have a proven track record of winning breakthroughs for solar PV and solar thermal.
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Saturday, 7 November 2015
I'm writing to let you know about how Lancashire County Council is preparing for the winter ahead.
Please find attached a briefing note which explains how we have prepared, what the public can do to prepare for winter, advice on keeping warm and well, and looking out for elderly and vulnerable people during the winter.
We work hard to keep traffic moving on our main roads and to minimise delays and accidents caused by ice or snow throughout the winter. We have stockpiled over 30,000 tonnes of salt and deploy 49 gritters from nine operational depots across the county. Ideally, we would grit every road in Lancashire, but in reality this is just not possible. Instead we identify priority roads and footpaths for gritting and snow clearing to keep the county moving.
As usual, we are working closely with our partners, businesses and local organisations to deliver a consistent message to the public about what they can do to prepare for winter and how we have prepared.
The government has also issued advice for clearing snow and ice, which explains that there is no law stopping you from clearing public spaces, as long as you do it safely.
Keeping you updated
For more information and advice I have attached a copy of our winter leaflet. If possible could you please include the leaflet on your website. If you would like paper copies of the leaflet please let me know.
If we experience long spells of cold weather, we will issue regular winter bulletins.
You can find out more about the winter service and which roads are on our priority gritting routes by visiting:
You can follow winter messages on our social media channels at:
Please let me know if there is anyone else within your organisation who would like to be added to the list for future winter updates.
Lancashire County Council
Wednesday, 4 November 2015
What steps are in place to protect 16 and 17 year olds who are victims of child sexual exploitation?
Visit our website at http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk
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Tuesday, 3 November 2015
This Christmas we have a large of elderly persons living within our local area that live alone, have family unable to visit this Christmas or are simply housebound. We are looking at giving a little back this Christmas to persons living at home who have lived within our community all their lives and ensure that they get a little something to open this Christmas morning.
We're asking persons and businesses of Hyndburn to dig deep and donate a small present that we can pass onto our patients this Christmas. It doesn't have to be anything big a gesture just a token that let them know we are all thinking of the this Christmas
Im not sure how much support we will get so the exact number of persons we can help my need to be looked at but my vision was to focus on those that live at home, starting with those alone, vulnerable and then moving out. if we are overwhelmed them we could consider the nursing homes any help you can give would be appreciated