Bishop of Liverpool expresses 'great concern' over proposal to create Local Enterprise Partnerships to replace RDAs

Bishop James has expressed support for the North West Development Agency during a speech in the House of Lords.

He praised their key role in the “success of Liverpool Capital of Culture, the transformation of the waterfront in Liverpool and the creation of the Liverpool Commercial District”. He commented that “removing or reducing regional level support for the North West at this time would be detrimental to Liverpool’s future and the future economic growth of the region.”

Bishop James called for the Government’s National Planning Statement to demonstrate “commitment to develop the UK energy mix, including developing a strong renewable energy sector”. He pointed to the fact the North West is rich in renewable energy adding “the NWDA is key to developing renewable energy opportunities and green jobs for the region”.

The Bishop will put this in the context of the UK’s “challenging targets for carbon emissions” and the “national requirement to develop a sustainable, reliable renewable energy supply”. He will state that the “development of a national infrastructure must contribute to and enable the development of a green economic recovery”.

Bishop James questioned “the development of nuclear energy on the grounds of proportionality; the energy consumption of one generation burdens a hundred generations with the problem of dealing with the waste” and said he would “urge the Government to strive for a rich energy mix, including the abundant and as yet almost entirely untapped energy sources around our country.”

The Bishop welcomed the government’s commitment “to continue to try and persuade the EU to move unilaterally to 30% reduction in its emissions” and express his continuing concern that it is the poor who suffer most from climate change. He will support the government’s intention to toll out smart metres, establish a full system of feed-in tariffs and encourage home energy efficiency improvements. He will urge the government to go further and state that departments need to work together to prevent run-away climate change. He stated, “This government has declared it wants to be the ‘greenest’ government. This is not simply a desirable ambition, but it is an essential requirement.”

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Read Bishop James' Speech to the House of Lords regarding RDAs here