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Labour’s Caitlin Bisknell has welcomed the news that the final part of The Crescent funding jigsaw has now finally fallen into place.

“This has been a long time coming - and is a real boost of confidence not just in the scheme but the Buxton and High Peak economy.

“It’s taken a lot of hard work and lobbying by many people to get to this stage – and I am delighted that it has at last paid off.  Getting the extra funding agreed by the Heritage Lottery Fund in November was a major boost, this is now the icing on the cake.

“Given that The Crescent lost £5m when the Tory-LibDem government abolished regional development agencies, I think it is only fitting that they have agreed to find the final £2m to ensure the future of this project via the D2N2 LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership).”

“As I said last year, this is an extremely important moment for the town – I know many local people have fond, personal memories of the former hotel and baths – and are anxious to see work start on restoring the buildings.”

 As Leader of High Peak Borough Council, Caitlin has been closely involved in negotiations to secure the future of The Crescent, leading the Council’s bid to secure increased funding for the project.  Working with fellow Labour Leader, Cllr Anne Western, she persuaded Derbyshire County Council to make an loan available to the developers at a commercial rate, after banks failed to back the project.

The project also won the backing of Labour’s Deputy Leader and shadow secretary of state for Culture Media and Sport, Harriet Harman MP, when she visited The Crescent recently.

 

Final piece of Crescent funding falls into place

Labour’s Caitlin Bisknell has welcomed the news that the final part of The Crescent funding jigsaw has now finally fallen into place. “This has been a long time coming -...

run_for_the_sun.JPG

 

Caitlin Bisknell, Labour’s PPC for High Peak, wants local schools to get more power - from the sun. 

Her policy has wide national support, from environmentalists such as Friends of the Earth to Government Departments.

And it should save money.  According to the Coalition Government’s figures if every school in  in England and Wales used solar power, around £188 million would be saved. In terms of carbon dioxide emissions, that’s equivalent to taking 87,000 cars off the road.

But Caitlin’s plans have been thrown into shadow.  Many state schools can’t afford to finance the installation costs, so it’s slow progress – which is not helped by all the rules and regulations with which they must comply. this Tory-led Government won’t allow them to borrow money to run on the sun.

“Yet again, David Cameron’s Government is turning the lights out on a brighter future for our children – so much for being the greenest government ever.

“Solar panels should pay for themselves in less than 10 years, and also save schools money leaving them with extra money for books, electronics, school trips.

“Fortunately Labour Derbyshire County Council is supportive of renewable energy generally including solar and has a one off pot of £500,000 to fund solar energy projects on DCC/school buildings.  In High Peak, Hayfield Primary School had solar PV installed as part of £500,000 corporate capital investment,” Caitlin added.

A Labour Government in 2015 means you will get a better energy deal.  Labour promises to freeze gas and electricity bills for 20 months - and clean efficient affordable energy for our schools.

Schools should Run On Sun

  Caitlin Bisknell, Labour’s PPC for High Peak, wants local schools to get more power - from the sun.  Her policy has wide national support, from environmentalists such as Friends...

Just before Christmas on a cold, snowy day in Buxton I was one of the guest speakers at Rural Action Derbyshire’s AGM.

I have known Rural Action Derbyshire (RAD), which is part of the ACRE network, and the excellent work it does in a number of incarnations over the years.

Like me it maybe that you know your local community council, rather than the ACRE network itself – either way, they do a remarkable job in our often forgotten rural areas, where deprivation still remains hidden and help is (literally) difficult to access.

The Network is the only nationwide organisation with a dedicated rural focus; building community resilience, strengthening local enterprise and supporting the most vulnerable in our society. In addition, it are the only network that provides advice to the 80,000 volunteers who keep England’s 10,000 village halls alive. 

It has been supported by Government investment for ninety years, but just a few days ago, it was advised by civil servants to expect no further funding from Defra.

I, like Rural Action Derbyshire, am extremely concerned about the impact that the withdrawal of this funding will have on communities across High Peak and Derbyshire.

Concerned about the negative impact on the wide range of services and projects which RAD to help people in Derbyshire’s rural communities including:  Wheels to Work, Oil Buying scheme, Village Halls support, Suicide Awareness Training, Agricultural Chaplaincy, community and neighbourhood planning as well as partnership work to support financially excluded people and foodbanks.

To pull the Defra funding now would fracture the Network, undermine decades of government investment and leave the most vulnerable in rural areas with nowhere to go.

If you are able to give examples of how Rural Action Derbyshire or your local community council has made a difference to you, your community or organisation, this would be very helpful.

Rural areas – as is the case in High Peak – are characterized by lower earnings and self-employment; made worse by the increase in the use of zero hours contracts.  Rural areas suffer more than most because of the cost of accessing even the most basic services and goods; we face poorer transport and digital infrastructure.

Rural areas are more likely to be in fuel poverty than those in urban areas.  High Peak is a classic example of this, we have a lot of old, solid wall homes that are difficult and costly to insulate; with one in eight High Peak families living in fuel poverty. 

These are all issues with which Rural Action Derbyshire, and its fellow community councils in the ACRE network, seek to help people living in rural areas – through practical schemes such as Wheels to Work or the community oil buying scheme.

At that snowy pre-Christmas meeting I was happy – and pleased – to say that Labour not only welcomed the ACRE Network’s rural manifesto but that it fitted well with much of the thinking of the shadow Defra team.   I have already taken up the issue with Labour’s Huw Irranca-Davies – and signed the petition –a dn will, as Leader of High Peak Borough Council write to the Secretary of State to ask her not to withdraw funding.

We only have one week to influence DEFRA’s decision. You can show your support for Rural Action Derbyshire and the wider ACRE Network by signing the ACRE Network online petition now at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/73418


Please urgently write to Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3JR or email her at defra.helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk to ask her not to withdraw funding from the ACRE Network.

 

 

Defra threatens to cut funding to rural action network

Just before Christmas on a cold, snowy day in Buxton I was one of the guest speakers at Rural Action Derbyshire’s AGM. I have known Rural Action Derbyshire (RAD), which...

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