Philip Davies MP is one of the five MPs who voted against the 2008 Climate Change Act. Hope for the Future supported a group of constituents in Shipley to prepare for their meeting with him. As Philip has shown prior interest in reducing fuel bills, the group raised the issue of fuel poverty. To find out issues you can raise with your MP depending on their existing interests, click here. One of the constituents shares how the meeting went below.
Philip is a very engaged local MP who has been supportive of a local hydro scheme, Burley Hydro. Four of us had the pleasure of going to visit him at his surgery in Shipley on Monday 13th February. Marilyn had written to Philip requesting to discuss his views on climate change, recent local flooding, renewable energy, local traffic issues and related air quality. Marilyn is one of the members of the Reach Out group at her local church who are long standing supporters of USPG, who see the impact of climate change on many of the communities they work with across the world.
Philip expressed his view that the climate was always changing and he was not interested in the cause but interested in the impact on his constituents. He does not believe in unilateral action as the UK is such a small player on the world stage as regards emissions.
Getting back on to the local issues we discussed renewable energy and Philip’s concerns that the development of this had been increasing the cost of people’s fuel bills. We shared the potential for development of locally produced clean energy and the opportunity that this has for local job creation and local security of supply as outlined in the Zero Carbon Britain short report.
Sandra shared the financial benefits of the ground source heat pumps installed at St James’ Church, Baildon, and how it now functions as a building that benefits a wide section of the community who are impressed that a church can be warm!
We had a constructive discussion about the building standards for new homes and also the need for retrofitting to provide insulation to existing homes. We agreed that the Green Deal had not worked effectively, and asserted that standards for such work needed to be put in place.
Philip kindly agreed to contact the Housing Minister about standards for new homes and retrofitting and to raise the issue about charging business rates on Community Energy projects such as solar panels on school roofs with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Revd. Sandra Benham, Vicar of Baildon
Marilyn and Roger Banister, Menston Parish Church
Jemima Parker, Environmental Officer for the Diocese of Leeds
Click here for Hope for the Future's resource on fuel poverty.