THE phoney war that is the annual GERS debate has broken out again. It’s all too predictable, but with Scotland’s public finances under scrutiny I make no apology for once again challenging the dominant assumptions about oil and gas. In 2014 the Green Yes campaign published figures showing that the multinationals operating in the North Sea were receiving about £1 billion worth of tax breaks from the UK Government every year – despite making huge profits.
“Vast areas of Scotland such as the Highlands and Islands, Borders and Dumfries and Galloway still do not have reliable access to broadband.”
John Finnie MSP
Alison Johnstone MSP, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (17 Aug) called for clarity over funding cuts after figures published showed a sharp rise in drug-related deaths
Mark Ruskell MSP, Energy & Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (11 Aug) challenged Scottish Ministers to close a loophole that allows nuclear power plants to have their operating life extended without public input.
Read more: https://greens.scot/news/communities-with-nuclear-plants-should-be-properly-consulted
“The comments were made in response to the call by the GMB Union for the UK Government to scrap the national energy regulator Ofgem after disappointment in what the GMB called “ineffectual reforms”.
“Raising revenue from more progressive taxation won’t fix everything, but it’s increasingly clear that it must play a key role.”
Cllr Ian Baxter (Green) said:
“Midlothian faces the biggest financial challenges in its history and it’s vitally important that councillors from all parties work together to protect the most vulnerable. It is deeply frustrating that the Labour Group continues to boycott this cross party group and the only people to suffer from their inaction will be the people of Midlothian”.
Read more: http://bit.ly/29Me2hQ
What now for the greenbelt and for greenbelt communities? How will Midlothian be effected by this ongoing expansion of housing and associated infrastructure in Edinburgh and this continuing nibbling away of the greenbelt?
Will the thousands of empty homes and commercial premises across the city ever be developed? Will the existing acres of brownfield sites and land banked by developers ever be brought into sustainable use? When will we actually start building sustainable livable homes that are affordable, accessible and connected to good quality local services, transport and greenspace?
What is the value of all LDPs and their housing targets, including Midlothian’s post-Brexit? There’s a question! Perhaps a time fro a rapid reassessment?
At present, I’m not sure that there’s a satisfactory answer to any of these questions? Or indeed any sign that the voice or concerns of local communities on either side of the greenbelt will be heard any time soon by either local or central government.
Well if independence is put to the test again, nobody will be able to claim that the status quo is even an option; to remain in the UK would be to leap together into an uncertain future outside the family of European nations.
I was immensely reassured this week to see thousands of people gather together outside Holyrood – and I know this has been happening elsewhere too – to say boldly that we are not resigned to that fate. Europe is part of our history, our culture and our identity. We voted to stay, and that’s what we’re going to do.
Midlothian Green Party members interested in promoting local opportunities for community owned renewables will be dismayed by recent reductions in support available for the UK Government.
Community energy schemes will be hit hardest by Amber Rudd’s recent energy subsidy shake-up, ministers from Scotland and Wales have warned.
Scotland Energy Minister Fergus Ewing and Wales Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant have co-authored an open letter to Rudd urging her to consider new ways to support community schemes.
The two ministers were particularly critical of Rudd’s move to stop the Renewables Obligation subsidy for new onshore wind projects from 1 April 2016, and her plan to scrap pre-accreditation for the Feed-in Tariff scheme which supports projects below 5MW.
Pre-accreditation essentially gives renewable energy generators a guaranteed tariff level in advance of commissioning their installation.