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The Disraeli Room is a hub for new ideas, commentary and analysis. ResPublica's blog is named after the great reforming Prime Minister of the nineteenth century, Benjamin Disraeli, and welcomes contributions from across the political, academic and professional spectrum.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change is currently reviewing its policy towards community energy, seeking evidence of its benefits and a better understanding of the barriers to its development. Earlier this year, as part of my Clore Social Leadership Fellowship, I was seconded to the National Trust to look at how it is supporting the development of a community hydro scheme on its land in North Wales.
The Church of England’s contribution to the controversial debate over payday loan companies has received a good deal of media coverage. This is of course an issue that has troubled politicians and even professional football players (in the case of Papiss Cisse and his Newcastle shirt!).
With so much focus on the Energy Bill and reforms to overhaul the electricity market, the provision of our heat is often relegated to the side-lines. But nearly half (44%) of the energy we use in the UK is for heating – whether this be for industry, businesses or our houses – and must therefore be just as central to discussions regarding our decentralised and low carbon future.
The city of Berlin has just become adorned with posters and billboards communicating the various campaigns of the major political parties. With the next General Election on the horizon (22nd September), much is on the agenda and much is at stake, not least the future of Germany’s Energiewende – literally ‘energy turnaround’ or ‘energy transition’ – that will see the continued phase-out of nuclear power stations and growth of renewables in the next decades.
In recent weeks, the church and its investments have dominated the headlines. Archbishop Justin has spoken of his desire to harness our resources to compete loan sharks out of existence. He has also welcomed ResPublica’s new report on Holistic Mission: Social action and the The Church of England – a report which shows how much the C of E is doing to promote the common good, but also highlights how much more we could do if our resources were better stewarded.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) call for evidence on ‘community energy’, which closes today, sets out a series of questions regarding the capacity of the sector, and the various barriers faced by communities across the country who wish to become collective producers of their own energy.
Chatting with an Anglican vicar last week I was fascinated to hear his views on how the Church could be the agent for social transformation. His understanding was that, as pews became established within churches the perception of these buildings changed from being community resources for the benefit of everyone to solely being places of worship.
This last month has seen a resurgence in activity on banking reform. In the space of a week we were privy to the publication of the Banking Commission’s long awaited report, the Chancellor’s Mansion House speech, and were informed of the departure of both Stephen Hester from RBS and Paul Tucker from the Bank of England.
Wednesday 26th June marks the last formal step in the transition of Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) from municipal to mutual ownership. This is the point where our transitional governance arrangements end and RBH becomes a true mutual, owned solely by its tenant and employee members.
Our collective breath was taken away by the bravery of the women who guarded Lee Rigby’s body, the soldier murdered in Woolwich on 22nd May, especially Ingrid Loyau-Kennett who engaged directly with the killers, bloody weapons still held tight in their hands.
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