Who do you believe on the environment – Claire Wright or Hugo Swire

Claire Wright said that the environment post-Brexit wouldn’t be in safe hands if Conservatives win and did something about it for Devon:

http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/devon_county_council_signs_up_to_my_motion_on_protecting_devons_nature_afte

Hugo Swire said she was scare-mongering and it would be fine:

https://www.hugoswire.org.uk/news/blog-birds-and-bees-and-brexit

The Guardian now says:

The UK is lobbying Europe to water down a key energy-saving target despite the fact it will not take effect until after Brexit, according to leaked documents that sparked warnings that energy bills could rise and jobs put at risk.

On the day Theresa May triggered article 50, government officials asked the European commission to weaken or drop elements of its flagship energy efficiency law.

Green campaigners warned that the efforts to undermine the energy efficiency directive were a sign the Conservatives would dilute or abolish European energy and climate policies after the UK leaves the EU.

In the past, the UK has publicly welcomed the targets, which end in 2020, as an important driver for reducing consumer bills and reliance on energy imports.

The European commission wants a binding target of improving energy efficiency 30% by 2030, compared with business-as-usual.

But documents obtained by Greenpeace, dated 29 March, show the UK urging the commission to lower the goal to 27% and make it non-binding on the EU’s 28 members. A more recent version, dated 22 May and seen by the Guardian, shows the UK has maintained its stance. …

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/28/uk-presses-europe-to-dilute-flagship-energy-efficiency-law

Health service underfund: nothing to do with patients, everything to do with politicians

All the more reason to vote for Claire Wright and not Hugo Swire, who voted for the Health and Social Care Act 2012 that created the money-gobbling, privatising internal market (though Blair started PFI as a way of cooking the Treasury’s books).

One reason for East Devon bed closures is that Tiverton Hospital (24 beds) CANNOT be reduced in beds or closed because it would be too expensive to break the PFI contract.

And Owl STILL wants to know if Neil Parish’s new hip is private or NHS.

“Councils and hospital trusts are trying to ditch controversial private finance initiative (PFI) deals as austerity makes them unaffordable.

The long-term deals, which were hugely popular in the 2000s, were used to pay for new schools, hospitals, prisons and roads. They were designed to shift risk to the private sector but were often struck on inflexible terms spanning several decades. Cash-strapped public sector bodies are increasingly trying to escape from PFI deals as the contracts eat up bigger slices of their revenues.

Councils are turning to an obscure arm of the Treasury, the Public Works Loan Board, to refinance debt at a much lower rate — shifting the risk back onto the state. Ending deals also exposes councils to hefty compensation fees.

Deals including a £2.7bn highways contract in Birmingham and a waste contract in Essex are under pressure. An industry adviser said several hospital trusts are trying to unwind PFI deals. “They have to balance shrinking budgets in the near term and the PFIs are increasingly gobbling up their revenues.”

Source: Sunday Times (paywall)