Ed Davey to Meet with Hull MPís Over Port Plan
By Anne Lewis-Schneider
Talks are to be held between Ed Davey the Energy Secretary and Lord Haskins, the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership chairman, as well as two Labour MPís Diana Johnson and Alan Johnson, both of whom are from Hull. The meeting is set to address the plans for the investment in the £210 million Green Port Hull on Alexandra Dock and the Hull MPís are looking for assurance that Siemens will be on board for the development which is a green energy project much needed to increase the level of low carbon energy resources in the UK. The investment of Siemens is seen as imperative by the Hull MPís who fear that if the company does not come on board then the opportunity for investment and jobs will more than likely go to an overseas company.
Diana Johnson is concerned by what she has termed hostile comments which have been made by senior ministers with regard to the future of renewable energy and ambivalence as far as long term policy is concerned in the green energy sector. Diana Johnson feels that if Siemens are not a part of the development then it is likely to go to a foreign company and the potential for jobs and investments will be lost to the UK. She has warned against being complacent as far as this development is concerned and is looking for assurance that Siemens will be on board for the project. She has also said that it is vital that government be seen to have a positive outlook as far as green energy growth is concerned and that a long term commitment is seen to be forthcoming for the development of new sources of carbon friendly energy.
The much awaited Autumn Statement is due from Chancellor George Osborne within a matter of days and this is hoped to bring relief in the form of a cut in green levies to those who are battling to stay afloat with the latest round of increases in gas and electricity bills. Diana Johnson has said that she requested the meeting with Ed Davey because she feels there is a need to ensure that the UK has affordable energy that will be available into the future, and she feels that there is plenty of room for growth in the future of green energy.
Siemens has said that its plans remain stable with regard to the Hull. The plans for another offshore wind project in the Bristol Channel have just been halted. This has given rise to doubt and is seen as both damaging to the future developments of green energy as well as worrying for investors. Chief executive for the Spencer Group Charles Spencer has voiced concern over the current negative debate surrounding both energy policy and price. Ed Davey however has been hinting at good news coming from the offshore wind sector and has said that an announcement is to be made soon.
Alexandra Dock is an existing facility strategically situated next to a naturally deep channel and is ideal for development and investment as the UK renewable energy is looking to expand. Any development would bring jobs at many different levels and would complement the proposed development by Able UK in Humber on the South Bank which is set to create an estimated 4,000 new jobs. Approval is pending on this project due to ecological concern for the black-tailed godwit that has its habitat in the area.
Hull has recently been named as the UK City of Culture for 2017, which has been acknowledged by Siemens in a congratulatory message. Hull University Business School has said that the honour bestowed upon the area should garner more investments and bring more visitors to the area.
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