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A HOST of Cheshire Easta€™s leisure centres and swimming pools have been handed a life-saving donation. CHESHIRE East Council says it looked at a number of sites before settling on Parkers Road as the most suitable. Salcombea€™s first development of new properties right on the watera€™s edge for almost twenty years. The question is, are climate change policies a significant driver in these increasing bills?
There are costs to the climate and energy policies being pursued but we have to remember that energy efficiency delivers savings. DECC estimate the mean impact of climate and energy policies to be a 5% saving on 2013 energy bills. So, current climate change and energy policies have a cost but the net effect is that average electricity and gas bills are lower now than they would be without these policies. From a social policy perspective, the government has a responsibility to see these savings spread to lower income groups.
The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. I want to borrow some money against my home but I'm past the state retirement age - can I still get a mortgage? To see our content at its best we recommend upgrading if you wish to continue using IE or using another browser such as Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome. John Major yesterday told the Tories to show ‘a heart and social conscience’ as he proposed a windfall tax on energy firms.
Piling pressure on David Cameron over soaring power bills, the former prime minister said it was ‘criminally easy’ to overlook the millions of ‘silent citizens’ struggling through no fault of their own.
He said it was wrong that so many families would have ‘to choose between keeping warm and eating’ this winter.
And in what is seen as a coded reference to the Prime Minister’s privileged upbringing, Sir John, who grew up in a rented flat in Brixton, South London, added: ‘How do I know about these people? Labour imposed a one-off windfall tax on privatised utility firms in one of its first actions after coming to office in 1997. It was designed to tax the growth in the value of companies such as regional electricity companies, water and sewerage companies and electricity generators in the four years following privatisation.
Gordon Brown said the ?5.2billion it raised would fund the New Deal welfare-to-work scheme that was the centrepiece of his first budget.
He said the tax was fair because the firms had made windfall gains from the under-pricing of shares and under-regulation. He warned that like Labour in the South, the Conservatives had become a ‘fringe party’ in the North and needed to focus on the ‘issues which actually worry people in their daily lives’. He also highlighted what he called ‘lace-curtain poverty’ – saying the low interest rates that are essential for economic recovery ‘crucify the prudent long-term saver’. In his wide-ranging and passionate speech at Westminster, the last Tory leader to secure a Commons majority insisted that if Britain suffers a cold winter, Chancellor George Osborne should announce a tax raid on the profits of the ‘big six’ energy firms. How bills have soared: British Gas dual fuel energy bills have soared from ?1,100 in 2010 to around ?1,465 after the latest round of price hikes. But Sir John’s demand for a repeat of the tax prompted intense speculation that he might have been ‘kite-flying’ ahead of an announcement being worked on by the Tories. Number 10 described it as an ‘interesting’ idea but said there were no plans to implement it. He said he strongly agreed with the Archbishop of Canterbury who criticised ‘inexplicable’ energy bill rises at the weekend. Sir John praised Tory initiatives on welfare, education and housing – saying Mr Cameron is ‘seeking to reclaim territory that’s at the heart, the very heart, of the sort of values that made me join the Conservatives in the first place’. But he warned: ‘If we Tories navel gaze and only pander to our comfort zone, we will never win general elections.
Labour’s energy spokesman Caroline Flint said Labour would not support Sir John’s proposal for an emergency ‘excess profits levy’ on energy firms. Sir John accused Tory Eurosceptics of living in ‘fantasy land’ yesterday as he attacked the Bill to enshrine an EU referendum in law as a ‘negative’ for winning Conservative votes.
He backed Mr Cameron’s call for a referendum as a way of ‘burying’ Europe as a political issue for a generation. But Sir John said he was right to denounce his Eurosceptic opponents in the 1990s as ‘b******s’ and accused them of ‘folly’ in pushing for Britain to leave the EU.
Sir John added it was ‘a fallacy of the Eurosceptics’ to claim Britain could stay in the European single market without paying heavy fees if the UK leaves the EU. Wealthy politicians from privileged backgrounds have a moral duty not to ‘kick the ladder’ away for those struggling to improve their lives, Sir John warned.
In a passionate speech standing up for the ‘silent have-nots’, Sir John pointedly drew on his own experience growing up in poor parts of Brixton in the 1950s. His remarks were in contrast to the wealth y upbringing enjoyed by the likes of David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband.
He warned it was ‘criminally easy’ to overlook these ‘silent citizens’ because they do not ‘make a fuss, they just get on with their lives’.


Si John added: ‘They struggle to pay the bills often, they think carefully before having a family holiday. In a thinly-veiled swipe at today’s Tory party, he warned politicians must ‘focus on issues which actually worry people in their daily lives’. Sir John added: ‘If we Tories navel gaze and only pander to our comfort zone, we will never win general elections. Sir John launched a blistering attack on party funding rules which mean the Tories are in hoc to wealthy donors and Labour are in the pockets of the trade unions. He called for a cash limit on all donations from business, individuals an unions which is set so low that donors would not be able to influence policy. He said the prospect of a federal Europe was ‘as dead as Jacob Marley’ and there were far more important issues to discuss in Parliament. In terms of seats elected, neither Labour nor the Conservatives can truly claim any longer to be a national party.
And Labour have feasted on this parody for five elections, and in a fit of the sulks the Liberal Democrats have voted to extend it. And the effect – be in no doubt – the effect of that is to gerrymander the result of a large number of seats at the next general election.
And if that  comes to mean more state funding I for one would absolutely hate it but I would hate it less than a system the electorate believes is in hoc to vested interests.That is a damaging instinct amongst the public that the political system would do well to lose. For the foreseeable future the threat of a federal Europe is as dead as Jacob Marley.The ghost may return, but for now there are far more important for Parliament to discuss.
I’m a Conservative, always have been always will be.My party is at its best when it is tolerant and it is open and at its worst when it’s hectoring and censorious. But as we saw at the party conference David Cameron is seeking to reclaim territory that’s at the heart the very heart of the sort of values that made me join the Conservative in the first place.And he is absolutely right to do so.
We need to win back seats in the towns and cities, in Liverpool, Sheffield, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff, and it is doable.As I get older I think back to where I came from and the good fortune that I have enjoyed. And those of us here in this room who have been lucky, can’t morally kick the ladder away from others.We need to help them climb it too. That is why in 1990 I talked of a classless society – as ever I gave the wrong name to right policy at the wrong moment.On the day I arrived in Downing Street – people forget this – interest rates were 14 per cent, inflation was nearly 10 per cent, unemployment was rising and a recession was looming.
There always has been something wrong with my political timing.But by 1997 the economy was stabilised and it was growing very healthily, and then we lost the election. And after all the pain that we and the more importantly the public had been through, to correct that economy, it was heart-breaking to see the money in my judgement squandered.Never was so much money spent to achieve so little. We had good policies I think very badly packaged, whereas the Labour party had less good policies brilliantly marketed and they scooped the pool at the election. And today there are too many people falling behind through no fault of their own, it’s partly the nation of the modern world.
And we need the policy to look right through the range at what is necessary to help people to improve their own circumstances.
And it is very easy, criminally easy, to overlook these silent citizens, they don’t demonstrate, they don’t make a fuss, they just get on with their lives.They struggle to pay the bills often, they think carefully before having a family holiday. If unemployed they seek work, if employed they work hard to hang on to their jobs.And how do I know about these people? Nearly 100 years ago Lloyd George promised homes fit for heroes.Today many live in tower blocks, estates and slums that frankly are fit for no-one. For many elderly people now in retirement the financial crash has destroyed the security of mind as well as the value of savings.
But it’s enormously complicated and unless he is very lucky, which he may not be, or a genius, which last time I looked was unproven, he may get some of it wrong.
I hope Iain is wise enough to listen to a wide range of opinion because some of his critics will be right.If he listens only to the bean counters and cheerleaders concerned only with abuse of the system then he will fail.
And there are other areas that cry out for change – we have been so obsessed in the last 50 years with the economy and Europe we have missed so much of what needed to be done to preserve the social fabric and social wellbeing of much of this country.
So other areas cry out of change – the child poorly educated, the adult trained badly or not trained at all, the family house meanly, the elderly person living alone on a pension in bad conditions on a rotten estate failing in health and very often fearful of modern life. For too many of these people a room with a view is 30 stories up and every day they wake up hoping that the lift will work and that the graffiti on the walls won’t be too vile.
Now I am delighted that in welfare, education and housing a start… a start has been made.But there is much, much, much more to be done. And we Conservatives shouldn’t be afraid to show that we have a heart and a social conscience.
That if we do we might not only regain seats that are at present  no-go areas for Conservatives, but far more importantly, we might transform lives as a result – as mine was once transformed over 50 years ago. Cheshire East Council bosses insist fuel bills at centres, including those in Crewe, Nantwich and Sandbach, have risen sharply a€“ gas by 34% and electricity by 25 % a€“ in the past 12 months. Those FIT payments have to come from somewhere and as much as we might like being green or just think that renewable energy is the future, we should still take stock of the consequences. The largest single contributor to these costs is wholesale gas and electricity prices at 47%.
Energy bills are climbing and will continue to climb but energy efficiency measures provide savings.


DECC expects these policies to increase in cost over the coming years but also to provide more savings. And which deal is the best for me - I guess it should be one that tracks the price down rather than a fixed deal that my energy firm keeps urging me to take? He insisted his party was ‘at its best when it is tolerant and it is open and at its worst when it’s hectoring and censorious’. One source said there was a danger that any such levy would end up being passed on to consumers in higher bills. But the former prime minister insisted the idea of imposing a freeze on bills would not work even though Mr Miliband had touched on a key issue for voters.
The Government, he said, was already doing ‘a lot’, including the winter fuel allowance for pensioners and ?25 cold weather payments. They work hard, they obey the law, they hope for a better future and they live in every single constituency up and down the country. We need to help people move on and up and out of whatever circumstance is holding them back. They are frankly an anti-democratic disgrace.In 1997 – a date I recall very well – the Tories got 31 per cent of the vote and 165 seats.
They are white, black, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish – all of them.They work hard, they obey the law, they hope for a better future and they live in every single constituency up and down the country.
They’re the dignified poor or near-poor and to the shame of decades of politicians – and I include myself in this – there are still millions and millions of them.
Low interest rates are unavoidable – essential – for economic recovery.But they crucify the prudent long-term saver.
Except when we revile the portion of them who out, of either villainy or desperation, try and cheat the system. And if Parliament determines to concentrate on those issues that affect the daily lives of people I think they can transform the way in which Parliament itself is viewed and that for everyone, the whole country without exception, would be a bonus beyond compare. Despite installing energy-saving equipment, this increase is still being felt strongly in services dependent on high energy usage. Other major contributors include transmission and metering at 20%, other supplier costs and margins at 19% and VAT at 5%. DECC states evidence that shows these measures producing savings of ?25 to ?270 or more per installation per year. Although our average dual fuel bills will have increased by 2020, they will be 11% lower than they would have been without the climate and energy policies in place.
The products policy, changes to building regulations and the Warm Home Discount all have the potential to spread benefits to lower income brackets. A council spokesman said: a€?Although leisure services are heavily subsidised and are not statutorily required, provision of such services is essential to the health and wellbeing of residents. Energy and climate change policies are estimated to contribute 9% of the average annual energy bill.
There is also a savings impact from measures like building regulations and minimum standards for gas boilers. This is true for 2013 and according to DECC’s analysis it will be true in the future. Much will depend on the success of projects like the Green Deal and whether measures like  insulation can achieve the wide levels of adoption that are predicted. Energy efficiency and micro-generation improvements such as those covered by FIT are very likely to see early adoption in the middle to upper income brackets.
Even with these policies in place our average combined fuel bills are expected to continue to rise. In fact, E.On was the first of the "Big Six" to announce a cut on Wednesday and in the last 48 hours, SSE and Extra Energy have followed suit. With rising energy prices becoming an increasing strain, some aspects of renewables policies can be seen as an income transfer from the poor to the rich.
Given that climate and energy policies do have a cost, it is very important that we carefully analyse the impacts. Cllr Michael Jones, cabinet member with responsibility for resources, said: a€?We can no longer sit back and watch our energy bills continue to rise without taking further action.
Savings of £2,000 a year are being made at both Shavington and Alsager leisure centres.
New changing rooms, a pool cover and a boiler were installed at Sandbach Leisure Centre this summer.
Cllr Rod Menlove, cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, added: a€?I am sure many people have seen fuel bills rise in their own homes and can understand that this decision has not been made lightly.
It's about buying low and selling high and suppliers only actually need to pass on price cuts if they think people will leave them." • Falling energy prices?
GB Energy Supply's variable tariff costs an estimated A?787 a year and an average annual bill from Avro Energy is A?795.



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