Government must not change VAT on solar panels from 5% to 20%, campaigners urge

One of the UK’s largest renewable energy suppliers has written to the Chancellor to warn that plans to change VAT from 5% to 20% for families buying solar panels and renewable technology could harm the country’s push for a net zero carbon economy by 2050.

Juliet Davenport, chief executive and founder of Good Energy – which has around 250,000 customers, called on Sajid Javid to scrap the plans, which come into effect on October 1.

Grants for on street charging points for electric cars!

The Government has recently announced an additional £2.5m in funding for the public on-street electric car charging infrastructure, claiming that the cash will see an extra 1,000 charging points installed in residential areas.

The Independent newspaper has a useful article on this announcement but it and other media fail to cover the importance of getting local councils to apply for grants

Local authorities should take action now and apply for grants for such programmes. It’s long been the practice of government to announce a programme with limited funds and of course it sounds good. However, unless local councils apply for the money, EV facilities won’t come to our local area. £2.5 million won’t go very far. We suspect the big cities will be quick off the mark in applying for funds and that will leave rural towns at a disadvantage.

It’s essential that local county and district councillors are lobbied in order to get their  councils to apply for grants ASAP.   A letter by residents to the Leader of the Council might kick things off.  Contact details can be easily found on council web sites.

Here is a sample letter that you could send to your own local council:

Dear <………….>

Government funding for on-street electric-car charging is to be doubled according to Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps.  An extra £2.5m will available for local authorities to install charge points on residential roads. The scheme is aimed at providing access to charging infrastructure near the homes of people without off-street parking. Also it is understood that the Government are willing to consider applications for charge points situated in car parks owned by the Local Authority where they meet the objectives of the scheme i.e. that the car park is suitably located in or near a residential area and provides an option for local residents looking to charge their car both during the day and overnight.

Data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders shows 14,200 pure electric new cars were bought during the first seven months of the year, up 71% compared with the same period in 2018. These cars now hold a 1% share of the new car market.

It is understood that this funding is available to Local Authorities for eligible projects, on a first come, first-served basis. That being the case would you ask your officers to apply for funding as soon as possible before funds run out?

Kind Regards

Good luck!

An appeal to All Governments to take action on Climate Change!

By way of an introduction please take a look at this  short video which shows how methane is stored in the permafrost and in frozen lakes:

2010: University of Alaska Fairbanks Professor Katey Walter Anthony takes us onto a frozen lake in Fairbanks, AK to demonstrate why methane gas is a key ingredient in global warming.

The continuing climate change protests , the Greta Thunberg appeals and Sir David Attenborough’s dire warnings in his TV programme Climate Change – The Facts may not be top news now but climate change is the biggest issue facing the future of life on Earth. I implore everyone to watch it. …… Click here for the full 58 minute BBC iPlayer recording of the programme  If you don’t have time to view the whole programme the TV guide Radio Times has a great summary including some dramatic video clips.  Or follow Twitter: #ClimateChangeTheFacts

For my part, the climate change threat is so important to us here on Earth I have tried to repeat  some of the key warning and advice from scientists and university researchers filmed in the BBC programme in this article …………

Continue reading An appeal to All Governments to take action on Climate Change!

Developers still promoting rejected site for 10,000 homes near Henfield

Mayfield Market Towns Ltd are still promoting their plans to  build  possibly 10,000 homes in the Sussex countryside near Henfield and a few miles away from the South Downs National Park. This proposal was rejected by the inspector when the Horsham District Council Local Plan was reviewed but the company are still pushing ahead.

The company are now inviting comments which is a positive move but is their plan sound? Why not let them know what you think?  If you want to contact them and let them know your opinion about this development email:

Click Here to read the company’s letter of 24th July 2019

Continue reading Developers still promoting rejected site for 10,000 homes near Henfield

UK railways needs revolution not evolution, says Rail Review chair

This interim report promises to offer a route and branch re-organisation of UK railways but surprisingly it doesn’t mention the major effect which improved railways can have on tackling the climate change challenge. This is very surprising considering promises coming forward recently from the government to tackle climate change.

It’s disappointing to see that Mr Williams’ interim report assiduously avoids talking about the excessive rail ticket prices we have in the UK, and especially the automatic increases which are applied by the UK government each year to rail fares. The next increase is due in January 2020, and there seems to be no move to halt this unfair system which penalises rail passengers ensuring we have the highest rail fares in Europe!

However, it’s worth taking time to look at this forecast of what will be in the final report later on in the autumn as the changes predicted are potentially quite substantial.

Continue reading UK railways needs revolution not evolution, says Rail Review chair

On-line consultation – improving bus provision: A27 Falmer to Polgate

Consultation on improving bus facilities along the A27 between Falmer and Polegate

This survey seeks your views on the physical facilities and highway design aspect of bus provision.  Whether or not you can attend the event in Lewes on Friday 18th January  (See my blog of Jan 10th) please share your views in this survey:


More information:

Campaign for Better Transport is working with Transport Focus and Highways England to capture your views on bus provision on England’s motorways and major A roads – the strategic road network.

Your feedback will help Highways England, as part of its integration and accessibility strategy, investigate priorities for improving bus provision – whether that is about signage, junctions, bus stops, crossings, traffic management or any other aspect of the strategic road network which could affect bus provision. Transport consultants Pell Frischmann are working with Highways England to assess the potential for improvements in the case study areas, and also to produce a tool kit and best practice guide for bus provision on major roads, based on the findings of these case studies. Click here for more info.