Utility Week

UTILITY Week 2nd October 2015

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

Issue link: https://fhpublishing.uberflip.com/i/578707

Contents of this Issue


Page 14 of 31

UTILITY WEEK | 2ND - 8TH OCTOBER 2015 | 15 Utility Week Lobby produced in partnership with: Labour seeks to reassure Labour's new leaders sought to allay fears in Brighton, but there was little detail of what they would actually do, says Mathew Beech. Lobby Election / Party conferences "[The Tories] are constantly chipping away at environmental legislation…" Shadow environment secretary Kerry McCarthy "Long-term inves- tor certainty has been thrown aside over the last few weeks by some of the quite ran- dom and bizarre announcements from government." Shadow energy minister Alan Whitehead "Jeremy and I don't want to nationalise energy. We want to do something much more radical. We want to democra- tise it." Shadow energy secretary Lisa Nandy Key questions ● "The Severn Barrage, it'll be a complete disaster…" Overheard at the BASC and Angling Trust fringe event ● "There is a rump of the party that doesn't know quite what's going on…" A party member on the impact of Jeremy Corbyn's rise to leader ● "This is my Glastonbury…" A journalist in the press room Are there any plans to renational- ise the water sector? Shadow environment secretary Kerry McCarthy told Utility Week: "Water has not had the same issues as energy. Bills are also lower, so there is less of a focus on it. I've not heard [renationalisation] mentioned in water." Former shadow water minister Angela Smith said it would be "too expensive "and that the public would "not tolerate". OVERHEARD AT THE CONFERENCE… KEY QUESTION Policy & Regulation Likes: decentralised energy. Environment secretary Kerry McCa- rthy says she is "very interested" in promot- ing community and local energy schemes and partnerships. She said decentralised energy would help lower bills and meet green targets. I f party members and industry were look- ing for answers, from last week's Labour party conference in Brighton, they didn't find any. Corbyn has already raised hackles in the energy sector with his stated wish to renationalise the energy companies along- side the railways, but his shadow energy secretary Lisa Nandy rowed back from these controversial comments. She said Labour wanted to "democratize" energy rather than nationalise it, in an apparent reference to community energy projects. Further details were scarce, as on other policies, as the lead- ership focused on big ideas at the expense of detailed policy. Still, it was a busy conference for some – not least new shadow energy minister Alan Whitehead, long-time member of the energy and climate change committee. Buzz- ing with energy, Whitehead said the shadow Decc team would be listening to industry as it works out where to position itself over the next five years. He promised to analyse and scrutinise the government, while also listening to the industry to "develop our distinctive position on energy policy". Party support for new nuclear remains in place, although as Nandy made clear as she called on the Public Accounts Committee to investigate the potential Hinkley Point C deal, not at any cost. One other nod to the traditional party conference attitude came from new envi- ronment secretary Kerry McCarthy, who took the opportunity to attack the govern- ment for "chipping away" at environmental legislation. Overall in Brighton, Labour was preoccu- pied with navel-gazing. The party is working out what it should stand for, and how it can hold itself together. In the meantime, energy and water are fairly low on the agenda, with those grand plans for renationalisation, care of "democratisation", looking a long way off.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Utility Week - UTILITY Week 2nd October 2015