Friends Of The Earth - Get Involved!
Hello My Friends - have you contacted your MP yet?
Friends Of The Earth - Make Good Choices!
From Your Friend The Energy Angel
A UK Domestic Energy Efficiency Focused Blog To Discuss And Share Energy Saving Ideas And Industry Best Practice.
Hello My Friends
Hello My Friends
Jayne Taylor, 37, went into anaphylactic shock after being treated by the emergency GP. He worked for out-of-hours medical service Go To Doc.
She claims to have told him four times she was allergic to penicillin before it was prescribed.
The GP, Dr Saddanather Rajendram, has since been suspended pending an inquiry.
David Beckett, Go To Doc chief executive, said: "We have withdrawn any shifts available to Dr Rajendram due to the nature of the allegations. We are following our complaints procedure and are working to gather evidence from all parties involved."
Ms Taylor’s nightmare began on New Year’s Day when, unable to shake off a heavy cold and rattling cough, she phoned NHS Direct. A nurse put her in touch with Go To Doc in Stockport Road, Ashton — an out-of-hours surgery for patients in Tameside — and told her to await a call.
Dr Rajendram phoned and told Ms Taylor to attend the surgery immediately. She claims he asked if she was allergic to anything, to which she replied penicillin.
She arrived 30 minutes later, wheezing and short of breath.
She said: "After listening to my lungs he told me I had severe bronchitis."
Ms Taylor claims Dr Rajendram handed her two capsules to ease the symptoms overnight and made out a prescription for antibiotics.
Ms Taylor, who runs her own business, added: "The next day I began to deteriorate. By 3.30pm I felt like I was drowning and couldn’t breathe. Then I suddenly noticed on the box that the antibiotics were amoxicillin and contained penicillin. I was aghast.
"I phoned my parents who were there in minutes but by then I had collapsed on the stairs and was turning blue."
Paramedics arrived and immediately injected her with a lifesaving shot of adrenaline. They confirmed she was suffering from anaphylactic shock. She was taken to hospital and put on steroids, adrenaline, anti-histamine and oxygen. She added: "I’m slowly recovering but if this had happened to an elderly person I doubt they’d have survived."
Hello There My Friends
Mr Meacher said there should be a debate on Labour's future directio
Mr Meacher called for Trident nuclear weapons to be scrapped, huge investment in renewable energy, curbs on City bonuses and nationalisation of the railways.
Michael claims to have enough MPs' support to get onto the ballot and insists he has a chance of winning.
Fellow left-wing leadership contender John McDonnell said he would fight on.
"We have been expecting Michael's announcement for over nine months. It doesn't change things," said Mr McDonnell, who began his campaign last July.
There is also speculation Mr Meacher's challenge will flush out a Blairite leadership contender from the Cabinet ranks.
Mr Meacher is one of Labour's longest-serving MPs, having had ministerial jobs in the Wilson and Callaghan governments of the 1970s.
Since being sacked as an environment minister in 2003, he has been a vocal critic of the government, particularly on its environment policy.
The Oldham West and Royton MP was flanked by Ian Gibson and Kelvin Hopkins, two prominent backbenchers from the Labour left, as he launched what he said was a "centre-left" bid for the leadership.
He said Labour members deserved a say in the party's future direction and insisted it was not a "foregone conclusion" that Gordon Brown would be the next prime minister.
He called for a new direction on foreign policy, which he said should be "based on fundamental British interests, not subservience to the US".
He added: "It is not sustainable to continue as America's glove puppet."
He also called for the renationalisation of the railways, a "profound change" in our way of life to combat climate change, and he said the national minimum wage should be raised to £7 an hour.
He also hit back at criticism from Mr McDonnell over his support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
"The biggest political mistake of my life was over the Iraq war. I believed the prime minister when he said there was a growing and imminent threat," said Mr Meacher.
He said some of Mr Blair's comments in the run up to war "stretched the truth".
Mr Meacher's campaign claims to have the backing of "about 30" Labour MPs, although he said he was not prepared to name them at this stage.
Leadership candidates need 45 signatures from Labour MPs to get on to the ballot.
But Labour MP Stephen Pound, who described Mr Meacher as a "faintly ridiculous" figure, said he would be surprised if the veteran left-winger managed to get the required support.
"It's a pity because, frankly, he's going to get humiliated," said the Ealing North MP.
"I suspect he knows that, if he put his ego to one side a bit he would realise that."
BBC political editor Nick Robinson said some Labour MPs would welcome a contest and Gordon Brown himself might prefer a contest to a "coronation", as it would give his leadership more of a mandate.
But asked whether a contest would be in the best interests of the Labour Party on Thursday, Mr Brown replied: "That's up to other people".
He welcomed any debate about the future of the party and said: "The key thing is making our country great in the future by making the right decisions now."
Mr McDonnell, who will be competing with Mr Meacher for left-wing Labour backing, said he had the support of about 22 MPs, and would not drop out of the race.
He said Labour members would judge the candidates on their records, and while he had voted against tuition fees, the Iraq war, privatisation and benefit cuts, Mr Brown and Mr Meacher had consistently voted for them.
"I have asked Michael to come on board with our campaign, but he's chosen to go his own way. Now let's have the debate on policies and the election and let the members decide," he said.
Asked whether his challenge might split the left and leave neither able to take on the chancellor, Mr Meacher said he did not think Mr McDonnell could get the necessary number of nominations."I firmly believe that I can, and to that extent, I am putting the left into the ring and I think and hope I am uniting the left rather than splitting it."
Hello My Friends
Hello My Friends, Sorry a bit late with this one:
David Miliband has today, on the second anniversary of the coming into force of the Kyoto Protocol, welcomed the agreement reached by global legislators at a key climate change conference in Washington.
Parliamentarians from developed and developing countries agreed to an ambitious statement on the need for international agreement on climate change - and for that agreement to be in place by 2009 at the latest.
UK Environment Secretary Mr Miliband said:
"This is a significant statement from politicians not just in countries like the UK and Germany, but from the US and rapidly developing economies such as China and India. GLOBE's statement delivers a strong message to the meeting of G8 Heads of State in June and I hope it will help unblock the political logjam.
"We need negotiations to begin in earnest at the Bali Climate Change Conference in December this year and for international agreement to be reached by 2009 at the latest. 2007 needs to be the year when the politics starts to catch with the science and economics of climate change - with faster action in all of our countries, and renewed momentum in the drive for agreed action between our countries."
Also today Mr Miliband announced that the UK will in June host a meeting of key experts and businesspeople which will investigate how a low-carbon society can be achieved. The workshop forms part of a key Japan UK collaboration project on low carbon societies.
Announcing the workshop, Mr Miliband said:
"Low-carbon societies, in which energy efficient homes and green transport are likely to become the norm, will be a key feature of a climate friendly future and this workshop will provide valuable input into how this can be achieved."
Japanese Environment Minister Mr Masatoshi Wakabayashi said:
"For the sake of future generations, we need to start moving now towards low carbon societies. The second workshop has a very ambitious agenda. I hope a wide range of participants will provide valuable knowledge and insight about how to achieve low carbon societies."
Jim Skea, Research Director of the UK Energy Research Centre and co-Chair of the workshop series said:
"The first Japan-UK Low Carbon workshop made tremendous strides in establishing that the vision of a low carbon society was achievable, and that it could be reconciled with the development needs of a range of countries.
"Since then strong and active collaboration between UK, Japanese and other researchers has been established. Building on their efforts, the second workshop in London will begin the important task of identifying how the low carbon vision can be achieved and what actions will be needed".
Arup, the global design and businesses consultancy, who are currently designing the world's first sustainable city in Dongtan in China, will present its illustrations of what a low carbon society in 2050 could look like at the June meeting. The key design aspects of its work in Dongtan include:
* The bulk of energy needs supplied from renewable sources such as wind turbines, bio-fuels and the recycling of organic material.
* Waste from homes and businesses will be recycled and organic waste will be composted or used to generate energy through biomass.
* Energy use will be cut by up to 70% through the use of traditional and innovative building technologies. Green roofs on buildings could improve insulation as well as water filtration.
* And solar powered water taxis or hydrogen fuel-cell buses could be developed as means of travelling around these new communities.
Notes to editors
1. The UK workshop will be help on the 13-15 June 2007. The workshop will develop the concept of a low carbon society and look at the practicalities of how they can be achieved.
2. The UK/Japan joint research project on a low carbon society was announced on 16 February 2006. The results of the work will feed into the Gleneagles Dialogue. Further details can be found at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2006/060216a.htm
3. The first workshop on 'Developing Visions for a Low-Carbon Society through Sustainable Development' was held from June 2006 in Tokyo. The report of the first workshop, which included a definition of a Low-Carbon Society (LCS), was presented to the G8 Dialogue meeting in Mexico in October 2006.Looks like Australia is Making Good Choices - banning regular light bulbs in favour of the CFLs is a smart move even if the Australians have sufficient fossil fuel resources to take their country through the next 300-500 years! Crikey Sheila stick another CFL in the lampshade!
Hello My Friends,
Delegates agreed that developing countries will have to face targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions as well as rich countries.
The informal meeting also agreed that a global market should be formed to cap and trade carbon dioxide emissions.
The non-binding declaration is seen as vital in influencing a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol, correspondents say.
The forum's closing statement said man-made climate change was now "beyond doubt".
"Climate change is a global issue and there is an obligation on us all to take action, in line with our capabilities and historic responsibilities," said the statement from the Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (Globe).
The two-day meeting brought together legislators from countries including the Group of Eight rich nations, plus Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa.
The BBC's environment analyst Roger Harrabin was at the meeting and says that although the declaration carries no formal weight, it indicates a real change in mood.
The legislators agreed that developing countries had to face targets on greenhouse gas emissions, in the same way rich countries do.
They said they wanted a successor to the Kyoto Protocol - which expires in 2012 - in place by 2009.
US senator Joe Lieberman forecast that the US Congress would enact a law on cutting emissions by the end of next year, possibly this year.
And presidential candidate John McCain, who is co-sponsoring climate legislation with Mr Lieberman, was emphatic on the need for new initiatives.
"I am convinced that we have reached the tipping point and that the Congress of the United States will act, with the agreement of the administration," he told the forum.
But Dr John Holdren, the head of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), said President George W Bush needed to appreciate that the US economy would not suffer unnecessarily if emission were capped.
"The economic damage from not addressing climate change is much larger than the economic cost of addressing it," he said.
Meanwhile, the Canadian parliament moved to force the government to meet its Kyoto Protocol target for reducing emissions.
The ruling Conservative party argues that meeting the target, of reducing emissions by 6% from 1990 levels by the period 2008-2012, is impossible.
The parliamentary vote gives the government 60 days to formulate a plan for getting back on track.
With United Nations climate negotiations in November failing to agree a timetable for mandating new cuts in emissions when the current Kyoto targets expire in 2012, the British-led Globe set up the Washington meeting in the hope of stimulating progress in a less formal setting.
The UN's panel on climate change said earlier this month that higher global temperatures caused by man-made pollution would melt polar ice, worsen floods and droughts and cause more devastating storms.John McCain and Joe Lieberman - Making Good Choices
Eaga (the Company), the UK market leader in the delivery of residential energy efficiency solutions, today announces its intention to seek admission to trading on the main market of the London Stock Exchange in 2007.
Eaga has a proven track record in delivering outsourced programmes aimed at eradicating fuel poverty in vulnerable households. In recent years eaga has diversified its offering to become a significant provider of household energy efficiency measures under the Energy Efficiency Commitment (EEC), and is a significant player in the local authority and social housing sector. eaga has developed a scalable infrastructure upon which it intends to capitalise on the substantial opportunities that management expects to exist in government and outsourcing, domestic energy efficiency, and social housing markets going forward.
Brewin Dolphin Securities has been appointed as Sponsor and Broker to the Company. The flotation is intended to be achieved by means of placing of shares to institutional investors.
Eaga has delivered energy efficiency measures to over 5 million UK homes, lifted several million vulnerable people out of fuel poverty. Every day eaga improves insulation in over 500 homes. The company also fits or repairs a central heating system every minute of every working day.
Management, led by Chief Executive John Clough, has an excellent track record which has seen revenues increase from inception in 1990 to a current year forecast of £500m. Excellent profit growth and cash generation has enabled eaga to achieve impressive organic growth. In recent years this has been supplemented by key acquisitions that have increased eaga’s delivery capability, broadened its market exposure, and further enhanced eaga’s profitability.
Commenting on the announcement, John Clough, Chief Executive, said:
“We are pleased to announce the intended flotation of eaga. Over the last sixteen years we have built a very successful business and are now the UK’s largest provider of residential energy efficiency solutions. We have been providing end-to-end solutions to serious environmental and social issues such as the elimination of fuel poverty for many years. We are now an emerging force in providing solutions to climate change challenges. The proposed flotation will provide the company with the financial flexibility required to fund the next phase of growth. It will also enable some of the existing shareholders (principally the Employee Benefit Trust) to realise a proportion of their respective investments.”
eaga’s future revenue prospects are strongly supported by the Government’s environmental, energy and social policy commitments. eaga plans to extend its services to become a leading residential infrastructure service provider by broadening its local authority and social housing offering, extending its aftercare services and able to pay central heating offering and capturing further government and outsourcing delivery opportunities.
John Clough, Eaga Chief Executive
0191 350 6531
|Graeme Summers |
|0191 279 7531 |
0113 241 0187
|Dominic Fry||020 7353 4200|
Eaga is a UK market leader in the delivery of residential improvements in the environmental, energy efficiency and social justice arenas. eaga’s core focus is working with government, local authorities and utility companies to lower carbon emissions, combat fuel poverty and reduce energy consumption. The work undertaken is principally focussed on the housing and social needs of low income and vulnerable households.
eaga is based on a partnership structure and is 100% employee owned by two employee trusts (eaga has two Employee Benefits Trusts (EBT) which sit at the head of the employee owned partnership, holding shares in trust for the benefit of all partners). The company has grown rapidly in recent years, building strong relationships with its customers by:
eaga’s portfolio of products and services covers the provision of energy surveys and advice, allocation and administration of energy efficiency funding, installation of central heating systems, cavity wall and loft insulation, renewable energy and a number of other ancillary products and services, including insurance-backed aftercare provision.
The Directors believe that eaga is in an excellent position to pursue the significant opportunities developing in the environmental, energy efficiency and social justice arenas, principally due to the following:
The proposed placing will raise proceeds on behalf of existing shareholders, principally the Employee Benefit Trusts.
eaga was established in 1990 as a privately-owned company, the Energy Action Grants Agency Limited, to lead Government funded efforts to improve the living conditions of vulnerable people living in cold, damp and energy inefficient homes. John Clough has been Chief Executive of eaga since 1990.
Until 2004, the business developed largely organically through focus on market penetration and diversification as new market opportunities were identified. Late 2004 and early 2005 saw a change in the development of eaga, marked in particular by the successful re-tender for Warm Front.
This was followed by the acquisition in April 2005 of Mico Group, a leading insulation services provider, which complemented eaga’s existing business, enabling it to become integrated into the supply chain and gain a foothold in the EEC market as a leading UK installer of residential insulation products.
The business continued to expand and in May 2006 acquired Everwarm Group, Scotland’s largest installer of domestic insulation and an installer of central heating systems.
eaga started a pilot scheme in 2003 to develop an in-house central heating installation business, which was further developed to deliver heating systems under the most recent Warm Front contract from early 2005. Since the beginning of 2005, eaga has developed its central heating installation capacity organically from a zero base to around 300 installation engineers generating turnover of approximately £36 million.
In December 2006, eaga sought to build on its internal skills base and build its position as a major player in the social housing heating sector through the acquisitions of; White Horse Group, whose major trading arm is HEAT, and of JD Heating. HEAT specialises in the design, installation and maintenance of domestic central heating in the social housing market sector within Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. JD Heating specialises in servicing and installing domestic central heating systems in the West Midlands. These two acquisitions together have doubled the size of eaga’s heating operation.
In addition to these key strategic acquisitions, eaga has also completed a number of smaller complementary acquisitions and strategic alliances with the aim of driving profitability and further strengthening market position. This has included the acquisition in November 2005 of an insurance intermediary business authorised by the Financial Services Authority.
It is intended in due course that the Company will review its brand strategy across the UK with a view to streamlining the range of identities under which it currently trades.
eaga is now structured into three core sectors, Government Contracts, Installation Services and Specialist Support Services, comprising six divisions: Government Contracts, Heating, Home Services, Specialist Business Services, Shared Services and Insurance.
John Clough MBE, Chief Executive (aged 47)
John has been Chief Executive of eaga since the business was established in 1990 having previously worked in strategic management positions with British Coal. Under his direction, the Company has grown to become a leader in providing services to environmental, energy efficiency and social justice challenges. eaga has become a trusted supply partner to local and national governments and energy utilities throughout the UK.
John has led the strategic development of eaga, broadening its core service and installation offerings, transforming its financial performance and provoking significant sustainable growth in both the public and private sectors. John’s vision has led to a culture which engages with its employees and drives performance and service commitment. He is a member of the government’s ‘Fuel Poverty Advisory Group’, the CBI’s national ‘Public Service Strategy Board’, the Government’s panel on ‘Transformational Government for Older People’ and a founder trustee of the independent eaga Charitable Trust.
Ian McLeod, Finance Director (aged 38)
Ian joined eaga in 2004, joining the Board in early 2005. He is responsible for all aspects of financial management and reporting across eaga and works closely with Drew Johnson in delivering eaga’s inorganic growth strategy.
Ian spent 14 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers prior to joining eaga, during which time he gained extensive experience in advising many different companies across a broad range of market sectors. Latterly during his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ian supported blue chip organisations in undertaking complex M&A transactions, working closely with a major plc in effecting inorganic restructuring of its retail arm from 2002 onwards.
Drew Johnson, Commercial Director (aged 47)
Drew joined eaga in 1991, having previously been with British Coal in supply chain management and logistics. He was appointed to eaga’s Board in 1999 and has subsequently held a number of executive positions in operations and in business and commercial development.
Drew has responsibility for eaga’s commercial strategy, focussing on the identification, development and delivery of opportunities for both organic and inorganic growth. He has been instrumental in diversifying eaga’s operations and transforming profitability.
Dave Routledge, Organisational Development Director (aged 47)
Dave joined eaga in 2002 and was appointed to the Board in 2004. He is responsible for strategic organisational development, HR, IT, service excellence, corporate and government affairs.
Prior to joining eaga, Dave acquired his own strategic consultancy business working with blue chip clients. In that capacity, Dave worked as advisor to the eaga Board and developed the strategy for corporate restructure. Dave previously held main Board level responsibilities for human resources and operations within the pharmaceutical sector. He has experience of company restructuring in the UK, USA and Europe and was part of a management buy-out team backed by HSBC (Montague Private Equity). He then worked with Credit Suisse First Boston to deliver the successful IPO of the business on NASDAQ .
Charles Berry, Non Executive Chairman (aged 54)
Charles joined eaga’s Board in 2005 as a Non Executive Director and was appointed Chairman in June 2006. He is also Chairman of the Nomination Committee.
He has extensive experience within the UK power sector; he was appointed to the Board of Scottish Power in 1999 and was Chief Executive of the company’s UK operations with responsibility for power generation as well as trading business, energy retailing and strategic transactions such as renewables and development. Charles is currently a Non Executive Director of Securities Trust of Scotland plc and Drax Group plc. Prior to joining Scottish Power, he was Group Development Director of Norwest Holst, a subsidiary of Compagnie Générale des Eaux, and has held executive management positions with responsibility for technical, business development and marketing within subsidiaries of Pilkington plc.
Michael Roberts OBE, Non Executive Director and Deputy Chairman (aged 69)
Michael joined eaga’s Board in 1999 as a Non Executive Director, and served as Chairman until 2006 becoming Deputy Chairman in June 2006.
Michael is a past president of the Institute of Energy and is both well known and respected in the energy efficiency world. Michael has broad ranging senior executive experience, having served in PA Consulting and Shell.
Michael runs his own energy management consultancy business and has particular experience in setting up energy management services for the government estate, local authorities, public service bodies and private sector companies.
During the period of Michael’s chairmanship, he has overseen the transition of eaga in terms of growth of revenue, people and profits. Michael chairs the Remuneration Committee and also sits on the Audit Committee.
Richard Burns, Senior Independent Non Executive Director (aged 48)
Richard is senior partner in the corporate practice of international law firm, Hammonds. During his 25 years with the firm, he has developed particular expertise advising on national and international mergers and acquisitions, flotations and the raising of equity finance. Within Hammonds, Richard has responsibility for the firm’s corporate governance practice globally and has advised companies and addressed conferences on the various codes of governance which apply in the UK, Europe and in the US.
Richard is Senior Independent Non Executive Director and sits on the Audit Committee, the Remuneration Committee and the Nomination Committee.
Quintin Oliver, Non Executive Director (aged 50)
Quintin lives and works in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He leads Stratagem, the first dedicated lobbying and public affairs company to emerge after the peace process development around Good Friday 1998; he ran the successful cross-party ‘YES’ Campaign for the subsequent referendum.
Quintin has worked in the public sector (as Welfare Rights Adviser to Strathclyde Regional Council, 1977-1984), in the voluntary sector (as CEO of the N. Ireland Council for Voluntary Action, 1985-1998) and now in the private sector leading Strategem. He has wide European experience (founder of the European, Youth Forum, 1976 and first President of the European Anti-Poverty Network, 1991-1995). He is also experienced in the development of social inclusion policies, and works extensively on the Middle East peace process.
Quintin is a member of the Remuneration and Nomination Committees.
Malcolm Simpson, Non Executive Director (aged 65)
Malcolm joined Greggs plc in 1973, becoming Finance Director in 1975. In this capacity, Malcolm oversaw a period of strong growth as the company expanded both organically and by acquisition and achieved flotation on the London Stock Exchange. Malcolm was also responsible for the company’s compliance with corporate governance regulations and risk management. Prior to joining Greggs, Malcolm trained as a chartered accountant with Peat Marwick Mitchell and spent time at Procter and Gamble. Malcolm handed over the finance role in 2006 and is currently Executive Director with responsibility for IT.
Malcolm is Chairman of the Audit Committee.Notice ends...
By Paul Lewis
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
A survey by energy comparison website uSwitch indicated that two million over-60s spent more than a tenth of their income on fuel.
One in five were concerned their health would suffer as electricity and gas price rises outstripped pensions.
Experts warn the government may not meet its pledge that every pensioner could afford a warm home by 2010.
uSwitch's consumer policy director Ann Robinson told BBC Radio 4's Money Box programme: "The government will not meet its target for taking vulnerable people out of fuel poverty by 2010.
"Even with the price cuts we are seeing there are still going to be well over a million who can't afford a warm home.
"That is why we need action now to put an end to this national disgrace."
Money Box listener Paulene explained how she coped.
"I have it on the lowest, lowest temperature I possibly can for a little bit in the evening," she said.
"My children tell me how cold my house is. I don't even like cooking and using all that gas. I'd rather quickly warm food up in the microwave.
"It's a worry at the back of your mind all the time."
The chairman of the government's own Fuel Poverty Advisory Group, Peter Lehmann, agrees that the government will find it tough to meet its target.
"2010 is only three years away," he told the programme.
"You can't put in enough energy efficiency measures in time. Therefore as well as stepping up these measures, prices must be reduced for vulnerable groups and a superhuman effort made to improve the take-up of existing benefits such as Pension Credit."
In the uSwitch survey, carried out by pollsters ICM, one in five elderly respondents were in fuel poverty, defined by the government as spending at least 10% of their income on fuel bills.
Nearly one in three (30%) were cutting back on essentials to pay their bills, and nearly one in four (23%) were turning down the temperature to keep their bills down.
In 2001 the government published a legally binding "Fuel Poverty Strategy" which committed it to eradicating fuel poverty for vulnerable groups including pensioners by 2010.
In a statement the Department for Food and Rural Affairs admitted that more than three million people were still in fuel poverty and that "the attainment of our fuel poverty targets by the dates set out... remains very challenging".The point is that it should not be "very challenging" at all - if David, Ian and the rest of the Defra team got their act together about EEC3, supported Ofgem more (why is it that if wholesale gas prices have gone down by 35% plus but the consumer is only offered a 17% cut in their gas bill) and actually selected a main contractor/programme manager for the Warm Front scheme that wasn't allowed to profit so hugely from a grant scheme that is there primarily to assist vulnerable groups (let alone award itself up to 33% of the installations at harmonised labour rates that are frankly ludicrous).
Hello My Friends,
Hello My Friends - especially those living in Blackpool ! The MBH Tenants Association are holding a meeting this evening and invite everyone living in the area to attend:
Thursday 8th February
STARTS AT 6:30PM
WANT TO TALK ABOUT YOUR HOUSING PROBLEMS?
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE "ALMO"?
WANT TO DISCUSS SHELTERED HOUSING MANAGEMENT?
JUST WANT TO HAVE A GOOD OLD CHIN-WAG?
THEN COME ALONG TO THE MEETING AND LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK
COME AND HAVE A CHAT WITH YOUR NEIGHBOURS
THEIR PROBLEMS ARE PROBABLY YOUR PROBLEMS
TEA/COFFEE & BISCUITS
Housing Corporation News Release
Blackpool Council becomes the North's first local authority to sign housing protocol agreement with the Housing Corporation
Blackpool Council has become the first local authority in the North of England to sign a housing protocol agreement with the Housing Corporation. This important milestone will bring together the resources and skills of both national and local organisations to deliver affordable housing across Blackpool.The Housing Corporation is the Government agency responsible for investing in new affordable homes and regulating over 1,500 housing association across Britain. Its biggest ever investment programme of £3.9 billion, for 2006-08, will fund 84,000 homes. 49,000 of these will be for affordable rent and 35,000 will be for affordable sale through the Government's new HomeBuy initiative, helping people to get a foot on the property ladder.
Based on a national protocol agreed between the Local Government Association and the Corporation, the housing protocols set out how the Corporation and local authorities will work together to deliver a common vision of affordable homes within strong communities, reflecting local priorities.
Jon Rouse, Housing Corporation Chief Executive said, "I am delighted that Blackpool Council has become the first local authority in the North to officially sign up to our protocol agreement.
"Local government has a pivotal role to play in the delivery of affordable housing at a local level. The Housing Corporation recognises the importance of this key leadership role and is committed to working in partnership to help meet local housing need.
"This protocol with Blackpool Council, and the others we are signing across the country, will play an important role in the delivery of more and better affordable housing in places where people want to live now and in the future."
The protocol has been developed over the last three months and will look at working more closely with a range of local key stakeholders including developers, planners, landlords of both social and private homes and supported housing providers.
Cllr Eddie Collett, Cabinet Member for Tourism and Regeneration at Blackpool Council said, “I am delighted that we are the first Council in the North to sign this important protocol. It demonstrates the priority we place on making more affordable housing a reality for Blackpool, and in areas where local people want to live.
“Working with the Housing Corporation demonstrates our commitment and also enables the Council to drive forward our housing agenda.”
Priority actions will include making the best use of land in delivering new housing, regeneration and renewal, and increased working to promote the Respect agenda.
Cllr Sue Wright, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Housing said, “This protocol will be a very valuable tool in enabling Blackpool to move forward in developing positive outcomes for the local community. Promoting and maintaining decent homes is a key objective for this Council and in partnership with the Corporation we can now ensure we create supported housing to meet the needs of our local community."
As part of this process Blackpool Council and the Corporation will work closely with housing associations and residents to review the quality of housing services provided. An exciting area of this agenda will be to look at ways of more directly involving residents and housing associations in the development and management of neighbourhoods and community facilities ensuring an integrated approach to housing and sustainable communities.
Blackpool Council Making Good Choices!
Hello My Friends,
Any device with a remote consumes electricity when on standby
Leaving mobile phone chargers plugged in, appliances on standby and lights on are among their most common failings.
If the levels of wastage continue, an extra 43m tonnes of carbon dioxide will be pumped into the atmosphere by then, the Energy Saving Trust said.
It interviewed 5,000 people in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.
Figures in the Habits of a Lifetime report, commissioned to mark the start of Energy Saving Week, said 71% of UK consumers admit to leaving standby buttons on once a week.
Meanwhile, 65% of UK consumers leave chargers on once a week and 63% forget to switch the lights off when leaving the room.
The comparison with German consumers, who top the energy efficiency league, reveals major differences.
Britons leave chargers on three times as much as Germans, they leave standby buttons on twice as much and forget to switch off lights four times as much.
Almost half (48%) of Britons admit to using the car for short journeys rather than public transport, walking or cycling.
The Spanish were said to be the next most efficient users of energy after Germany, followed by France and Italy.
Philip Sellwood, EST chief executive, said: "As a result of this research, we are calling on the nation to undertake a series of daily habit-changing actions during energy saving week.
"It is clear from the study we can't band everyone as 'a consumer'. The aim will be to galvanise the nation into breaking their energy habits one by one."
Within the UK, a number of interesting statistics emerged concerning age and gender.
Both men and women admitted about 32 energy wasting actions per week although 20% of males felt no guilt compared with 9% of the opposite sex.
The survey found 27% of those aged 65 and over felt no guilt about the energy they use and its impact on the local environment.
According to interviews with their parents, 72% of children aged 16 and under regularly leave the lights on and almost two-thirds always leave computers, TVs and stereos on standby.
However, about a quarter of 18 to 24-year-olds do feel moderately guilty about the impact their energy use has on the environment.
More than half of those surveyed (57%) said they would support the government introducing "environmental health" warnings on products which are not energy efficient while 49% believe more advice on energy efficiency should be available.
Friends of the Earth, meanwhile, has called on more action from the government on climate change.
"We're not going to save the world by turning our TVs off standby," said the lobby group's parliamentary campaigner Martyn Williams.
According to FoE analysis of official data, UK carbon dioxide emissions rose in the first half of the year and are higher than when Labour came to power in 1997.
The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the UK has one of the best records of any country in tackling emissions.
"We are on target to cut CO2 emissions by 16% by 2010, but accept we need to do more to meet our 20% domestic target by 2010," a spokesman said.
"That is why we introduced new policies and measures. These will take time to kick in but by 2010 they will be delivering reductions."
Make Good Choices people and take care in the snow and ice.
Hello My Friends,
The group says it will cut gas prices by 17% and electricity by 11%. It added that the average annual dual fuel bill would fall by £167 to £953.
British Gas's move has raised expectations that other energy companies might also cut their prices.
The company, owned by Centrica, has been criticised for its high tariffs, which consumer groups say affect vulnerable consumers.
Since 2002, British Gas has increased gas prices seven times and electricity tariffs six times, while it last cut prices in the spring of 2000.
Experts suggest the latest reductions could help the group hang onto its customers.
More than four million people switched their electricity or gas supplier last year in a bid to cut their bills, recent figures from energy regulator Ofgem showed.
British Gas would now be offering the "lowest prices on the street" to customers, as well as introducing a new social tariff for "very vulnerable customers", Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw said.
Centrica announced last month that it would be cutting its prices as wholesale prices had fallen.
But, while welcoming the drop in prices, consumer groups criticised Centrica for failing to pass on a 50% drop in wholesale prices to consumers.
The firm had "decided to boost its profits rather than pass on potential savings", Paul Green of Energyhelpline said.
"In the next couple of weeks, we expect all the other major suppliers to announce price falls," he added.
"All the suppliers are likely to follow British Gas by passing on only a small part of the wholesale price falls to their customers.
"This will cause a growing feeling of outrage among consumers as they struggle to pay their winter gas and electricity bills."
Add into the mix the fact that British Gas lost over 1 million customers last year and are being forced to reduce their staffing levels as a result by 1300 employees being made redundant, its not difficult to see why BG are saying that they are offering the best consumer deal - which is not actually the case anyway so don't be fooled and jump to them for your utility supply.
However Centrica's chief defended the company's decision not to pass on the whole of a 50% drop in wholesale prices on to customers.
"We don't go and buy our gas purely on a day-to-day spot basis; we go out and have to buy our gas on a long-term basis," Mr Laidlaw told the BBC.
"If wholesale prices fall further this year, then we will pass those price reductions on to our customers."
British Gas is the first UK company to announce definitive price cuts so far, after a round of increases from various suppliers.
Last week, Scottish & Southern Energy announced it would be cutting its prices, but declined to say by how much and when.Make Good Choices - don't use Uswitch and hang on to see how the other energy suppliers react over the coming weeks - there will be some better deals very soon!
Hello My Friends
Hello There My Friends
The leading fuel poverty charity, National Energy Action (NEA) is supporting Rick Costello’s campaign to get the winter fuel allowance extended to those that suffer from long-term or terminal illness, regardless of their age.
The £200 household allowance is currently only available to people who are aged 60 years or over.
Last year the charity campaigned alongside Child Poverty Action Group, End Child Poverty, the Disability Alliance, Help the Aged and Age Concern, Citizens Advice, and energywatch, to call for more support to help the sick, elderly and vulnerable by extending the winter fuel allowance.
Rick Costella (name changed to hide identity) is suffering from terminal cancer and only has months to live. The chemotherapy that had been previously used to attempt to fight the cancer has been aborted, as it is no longer working.
He said: “Chemo makes you feel cold so in the winter I have the heating on full.
"In the 65th anniversary of the Welfare State, there is something wrong when we have thousands of families receiving no support."
He has spoken to MPs and councillors to push for the allowance to be extended to terminally ill people. Many of these will need their heating on full constantly as they suffer from cold more readily.
He added: “Terminally ill people face a loss of income. The patient and also their partners who become carers then face a minefield of benefit forms. There should be more support.”
Energy is fast becoming one of the most expensive facets of a household budget with domestic energy bills having risen by roughly 90% for gas and 60% for electricity since 2003. Many households are now having to pay in excess of £1000 to keep their home adequately heated. Sick, disabled and vulnerable people will suffer most having to have their heat on more frequently.
NEA Chief Executive William Gillis said: “We have been calling for the extension of the winter fuel allowance for months now. Rick’s plight is just one example of how the system does not seem to support the most needy. We support his action and admire his extreme bravery in taking on this battle with only months to live.”
Notes to Editors:
Hello There My Chilly Bon Bons
Hello There My Friends,