“UK’s nuclear plans in doubt after report Welsh plant may be axed” but too late for Hinkley C …

… which absorbs much of our regional funding via our Local Enterprise Partnership and its nuclear-benefitting business members.

Fresh doubts have been raised over prospects for the UK’s new nuclear power programme after a report that Hitachi is considering axing plans for a plant in Wales.

The Japanese conglomerate’s mooted 2.9GW nuclear power station on Anglesey is next in line in the UK’s nuclear plans after EDF Energy’s 3.2GW Hinkley Point C scheme in Somerset.

However, Japan’s TV network Asahi reported that the Wylfa Newydd scheme may be scrapped, sending Hitachi’s shares up by almost 3%, before ending up by 1%.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/10/uk-nuclear-plant-hitachi-wylfa-anglesey

Never trust a Tory with numbers!

“Mayor James Palmer admitted he underestimated the cost of running the new combined authority, and says original predictions it would cost £850,000 a year were never going to be realistic.

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority was founded in 2017 in a bid to simplify local government. It is involved in many major housing and infrastructure schemes, including the proposed Cambridge metro, and the Wisbech rail link.

However, having initially been hailed as an “efficient” and low-cost authority, some are beginning to worry about rising costs and the “spiralling” cost of paying for staff.

Initially, it had been claimed the authority could be run on £850,000 a year.

Now there are fears costs are “spiralling out of control” after it emerged the authority is set to spend £5.6million on staff salaries alone this year. Total operational costs of the combined authority are set to come to £7.6million.

In leaflets distributed when Conservative James Palmer was running to be mayor of the combined authority, Mr Palmer said: “Under my leadership, the new combined authority will have very few staff, less than 20, and will be very efficient, costing around £850,000 a year to run. Most authorities cost tens of millions. As mayor, I will make sure the cost is kept low.”

Today (November 26) Lucy Nethsingha, chairwoman of the combined authority’s overview and scrutiny committee, noted that costs at the authority were “considerable higher” than had been originally expected. She asked Mr Palmer what he had to say about the increased costs.

Mr Palmer now says he “can only apologise” for the increased costs of running the authority, saying he “underestimated” its running costs.

Mr Palmer said: “I can only apologise. I underestimated the cost of running such an important authority. I think, realistically, we were never going to be able to function on £850,000 a year.”

Mr Palmer said he was concerned about costs at the authority which is why he has commissioned a review of its structure. He also pointed out that the combined authority had taken on staff and spending from the local enterprise partnership (LEP), a group which supported business and sustainable investment and growth, which was scrapped in December 2017.

Mr Palmer also noted that senior staff at the combined authority were not earning more than similarly senior staff in other tiers of local government. He said, however, that after the review is completed, he anticipates the authority will be spending less on staffing. He said he expects running costs to be reduced as the authority relies less on consultants.

“It is a difficult one, “said Mr Palmer. “It’s something the general public rightly gets concerned about. It is their money. But we are working to deliver extraordinary infrastructure and doing things that were previously not achievable.”

https://www.elystandard.co.uk/news/james-palmer-and-cost-of-combined-authority-1-5795358

LEP Growth Strategy branded “ludicrous” but still supported by (Tory) South Hams council!

Owl says: Owl has a strategy to catch twice as many mice as it catch now. The fact that there are far fewer mice, much less farmland, Owl is getting very much older and no owl has ever caught that many mice ever is immaterial – but it gives Owl “something to aim for”!

Councillors really do need to sit a test before they pretend to represent us!

“Plans to double SW productivity branded ‘ludicrous’

Plans to double the productivity of the South West by 2038 have been slammed as “ludicrous and a fairytale”.

The Heart of the South West Joint Committee has a vision for the whole of the region to become more prosperous, for people to have a better quality of life and to create a more vibrant economy where the benefits can be shared by everyone.

The productivity strategy says: “Our ambition is simple – to double the size of the economy over 20 years. We have ambitious local plans that outline needs and opportunities for housing and economic growth. To accelerate our progress towards our ambition and vision, improving productivity is our collective focus.”

South Hams District Council’s executive were noting the progress report they made since it was established in March.

Cllr Julian Brazil questioned how realistic and achievable the plans to double the economy in the next 20 years really were.

He said: “We haven’t seen that kind of growth in my lifetime. It is ludicrous and rubbish, and if they follow these fairytale and fictitious views about the economy, it doesn’t give it any credence. They should be much more realistic and things like this doesn’t give me any confidence they will come up with anything of any use.”

Cllr John Tucker leader of South Hams, said it was a stretch target but gave the LEP something to aim for.

And Cllr Trevor Pennington said the economy has grown over the years and there is more employment than there has ever been.

The executive unanimously noted the progress report, agreed to delegate development and endorsement of the HotSW Local Industrial Strategy (LIS) to the HotSW Joint Committee, and said it had made a £1,400 annual budgetary provision for it.”

Source: Western Morning News

France reducing its dependence on nuclear energy, upping renewables …

….. while building Hinkley Cin the UK!

“… In a long-awaited speech on energy strategy, President Emmanuel Macron said France would reduce the share of nuclear in the power mix to 50 percent by 2035, down from 75 percent today, rather than the total phasing out planned by neighbour Germany.

The fate of EDF, long a symbol of French industrial might and a world leader in nuclear technology, is a politically sensitive issue in France. It has already led to the resignation of Macron’s former ecology minister, Nicolas Hulot, who accused the president of dragging his feet on nuclear power.

“I was not elected on a promise to exit nuclear power but to reduce the share of nuclear in our energy mix to 50 percent,” Macron said in an hour-long address, adding that 14 of EDF’s 58 nuclear reactors would be closed by 2035.

EDF shares fell up to 4 percent on news of the plans, which a source close to the president’s office said could involve the state increasing its stake in the company. By 1630 GMT the shares were down 0.25 percent.

Macron’s action plan is broadly in line with EDF’s desire not to close any reactors before 2029, besides the previously scheduled closure of Fessenheim’s two reactors near the German border. No further closures are planned before the end of Macron’s term in 2022

Another two will be shut down over 2027-28 and a further two could face closure as early as 2025-26 if there is no risk of jeopardising France’s power supply.

In his election campaign, Macron promised to stick to the former Socialist government’s target of reducing the share of nuclear to 50 percent by 2025. But he rowed back on the pledge a few months after taking office, angering environmentalists.”

In a long-awaited speech on energy strategy, President Emmanuel Macron said France would reduce the share of nuclear in the power mix to 50 percent by 2035, down from 75 percent today, rather than the total phasing out planned by neighbour Germany.

The fate of EDF, long a symbol of French industrial might and a world leader in nuclear technology, is a politically sensitive issue in France. It has already led to the resignation of Macron’s former ecology minister, Nicolas Hulot, who accused the president of dragging his feet on nuclear power.

“I was not elected on a promise to exit nuclear power but to reduce the share of nuclear in our energy mix to 50 percent,” Macron said in an hour-long address, adding that 14 of EDF’s 58 nuclear reactors would be closed by 2035.

EDF shares fell up to 4 percent on news of the plans, which a source close to the president’s office said could involve the state increasing its stake in the company. By 1630 GMT the shares were down 0.25 percent.

Macron’s action plan is broadly in line with EDF’s desire not to close any reactors before 2029, besides the previously scheduled closure of Fessenheim’s two reactors near the German border. No further closures are planned before the end of Macron’s term in 2022

Another two will be shut down over 2027-28 and a further two could face closure as early as 2025-26 if there is no risk of jeopardising France’s power supply.

In his election campaign, Macron promised to stick to the former Socialist government’s target of reducing the share of nuclear to 50 percent by 2025. But he rowed back on the pledge a few months after taking office, angering environmentalists.”

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-france-energy/edf-restructuring-expected-as-france-reduces-reliance-on-nuclear-idUKKCN1NW14A

[EDF]Heysham 1: Three hurt in nuclear plant accident

“Power company EDF, which owns Heysham 1 power station, said the employees were taken to hospital following an “accidental steam release”.
The BBC understands one person suffered burns, one a broken hip and the other a broken back.

EDF said Monday night’s incident was not related to the nuclear process and there was no danger to public safety.

The casualties were said to be conscious and speaking when they were taken to hospital.

Five fire crews attended the incident at 22:40 GMT and remained at the site for more than two hours as a precaution.

A spokeswoman for EDF said a “full investigation” would now be carried out to determine the cause. …”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-46275104

Council leaders pledge to help Flybe

Looks like we are going to need the Magic Money Tree … again.

“Council leaders in Devon have offered to work with Flybe to keep it in Exeter.

In an open letter to the struggling airline, they say the airport brings in £150m a year to the local economy and creates “high value local jobs” which they do not want to lose.

Flybe is in talks about a possible sale of the group weeks after warning over profits.

Two-thirds of passengers at Exeter Airport fly with Flybe.

The letter was signed by the leaders of Exeter City Council, East Devon District Council, Devon County Council, Exeter College and the Heart of the South West LEP.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-devon-46102129

Local Enterprise Partnership “scrutiny” committee – an oxymoron

Minutes (for what little they are worth) here:

https://democracy.devon.gov.uk/documents/g3417/Public%20minutes%2002nd-Nov-2018%2014.15%20Heart%20of%20the%20South%20West%20HotSW%20Local%20Enterprise%20Partnership%20L.pdf?T=11

REAL scrutiny by DCC Independent East Devon Alliance Councillor Martin Shaw of this laughable attempt to continue to hoodwink us here:

An inauspicious start for new Scrutiny Committee for the Heart of the South West Local Economic Partnership