Cat Smith column - Labour is committed to a bold and visionary green energy policy

Cat Smith MP meets Fleetwood entrepreneurs Paul Cook and Marcus Stefani, the brains behind the creation of vertical axis wind turbines
Cat Smith MP meets Fleetwood entrepreneurs Paul Cook and Marcus Stefani, the brains behind the creation of vertical axis wind turbines

This week, Fleetwood MP Cat Smith hails local entrepreneurs who are leading the charge for green energy

The Government has finally admitted its flawed and unfair system of Universal Credit (UC) is responsible for the massive rise in the need for food banks. The initial five-week wait for UC is pushing families into poverty. What’s astonishing is that Amber Rudd, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, has admitted this link, yet has failed to take action. In Government, Labour will overhaul our social security system so it supports people instead of driving them into poverty.

I was delighted to recently meet with Fleetwood entrepreneurs Paul Cook and Marcus Stefani – the brains behind the creation of vertical axis wind turbines. They’ve developed partnerships with some of the UK’s leading engineering and design experts to develop high performance, low maintenance green energy turbines.

These turbines are smaller and less intrusive than the conventional Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines and I hope in the not-too-distant future could be the answer to providing cheaper, cleaner energy in a more localised way. It’s critical we find a way to create energy without destroying the earth – our dependence on fossil fuels is contributing to climate change – the biggest threat facing humanity.

Labour has committed to bold and visionary green energy policies that are ambitious, will create thousands of jobs and will make Britain the only developed country outside Scandinavia to be on track to meet our climate change obligations. By 2030 we’d create a sevenfold increase in offshore windfarms and a tripling of solar power, enabling nearly 20 million homes to be powered by wind and solar. By 2030 we would double the number of onshore windfarms. So congratulations to Paul, Marcus and their team. More details about their turbines can be found at www.4navitas.com.

This week is HeartUnions week – an opportunity to celebrate the good work unions do in workplaces across the country. Unions help workers get together, stop people being treated unfairly and get a better deal from their employers. They’re the voice of Britain at work.

Almost six million people are members of a union – from nurses to checkout assistants to lorry drivers to airline pilots. They are there for you when times are tough, even providing free legal advice if you need it. Every year they help more than 200,000 people get the training and learning opportunities they need to move on in their career.

Last year, unions won the right for waiting staff to keep their tips, better pay for workers at Macdonald’s, and new rights for pilots and cabin crew in Ryanair and beyond. But unions are committed to doing more to win a better deal for workers. This year they’re fighting to stamp out zero-hours contracts. If you want to join this campaign, or join a union, you can find more information here at twarlock@tuc.org.uk.

I must say thank you to the kind women of Fleetwood who have come into my office to donate period products for the Red Box Project. These products are free to any female of any age who needs them. They are just on the inside of the office front door at 50 Lord Street in the town centre – you don’t need to ask anyone for them, just come in and help yourself without fear of embarrassment or questioning. The office is open every day from 9.30am-4.30pm.

Please get in touch if you are an organisation that works with women who are likely to suffer from period poverty and we’ll be very happy to provide you with donations. Thanks also to Normoss Freemasons, who have kindly offered a cash donation to the project. What a great community!