Letters - Wednesday, January 26, 2022

We need plan to keep bills lower in future

By Suzanne Steedman
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 3:45 pm
Fuel crisis
Fuel crisis

Families and businesses are facing an energy price crisis because of a decade of dither, delay and poor planning on Britain’s energy sector. This failed Government energy policy has left us deeply vulnerable as a country.

We need to give families security with fully funded measures to save households hundreds now.

By increasing and expanding the Warm Home’s Discount, this targeted extra support to the squeezed households, pensioners and the lowest earners, would save 38,000 households across Blackpool and Cleveleys up to £600 off bills and prevents all of the increase in energy bills currently expected.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

This can be paid with a one-off windfall tax on North Sea Oil and Gas producers who have profited from price rises for years.

But we need more than short-term relief.

We need a plan to keep energy bills lower in future. We need to accelerate home-grown renewables, retrofit 19 million homes to save households £400 a year on their bills and reform our broken energy system.

Blackpool has eight out of the 10 most deprived communities in the country and a host of renewable energy options literally on our doorstep. Harnessing wind, solar and tidal energy could help eliminate energy poverty in Blackpool once and for all.

Chris Webb

Blackpool

ENERGY

Issues could’ve been avoided

Energy bills are set to soar again in April. It will cause real hardship to people who have to choose between heating and eating, and will put upward pressure on other prices too.

What really makes me angry is that so much of this hardship could have been avoided.

In 2013 the Government placed heavy restrictions on construction of one of the cheapest and greenest forms of energy – shore wind.

Construction dropped by 96 per cent over the next six years. Around the same time, the Government also dropped plans for new houses to be zero carbon.

These houses would have been well insulated and produced as much energy as they used.

People living in new builds could now have virtually zero energy bills.

We need short-term solutions to help with the real hardship people will face this year – such as extending the winter fuel payments scheme.

But we also need longer term solutions, like a mass home insulation programme, which would dramatically reduce the amount of energy we need to use to heat our homes.

Andy Hunter-Rossall

Green Party

ETHICS

Time to diversify the jobs at BAE

Over the past weeks BAE Systems appear in these pages, re. apprentice jobs, and also a couple of chief executive stories re. pay packages.

What makes the £1.1m package more obscene is that this was for military manufacture, much of which was sold to Saudi Arabia. With those British-produced planes, bombs and missiles Saudi Arabia is currently pounding Yemen.

Just the other week we had reports of children killed by Saudi Air strikes. There is a humanitarian catastrophe. So looking at the salaries of the CEO we should have a fair balance of pay for workers. At the same time a Defence Diversification Agency needs to be established which would promote the switch from military manufacture to the establishment of socially useful production units. There the skills of the workforce could be transferred, for example, to the infrastructure for genuine sustainable energy such as wind turbines or the units for tidal and wind energy.

Royston Jones

Anchorsholme

PANDEMIC

Let us hope this is not a false dawn

Overall the pandemic appears to be easing although parts of the country and some other states are still experiencing high death and new infection rates.

What is not being discussed openly by government or SAGE is the possibility of a new variant to succeed Omicron that is virulent.

Viruses can and do mutate many, many times. There is no guarantee therefore that the current one will behave differently to thousands of previous ones.

Over the past two years Sars Cov-2 has mutated many, many times. The majority of the variants have not helped the virus; they become mere passengers. But every now and again a variant gets lucky and allows its progeny to survive, thrive and reproduce. New variants are not necessarily more virulent but they place increasing pressure on health systems.

Let us hope we are not facing a false dawn.

Dr Barry Clayton

Thornton Cleveleys

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here