Peter Aldous welcomes the success of the Green Investment Bank but raises concerns about press stories regarding asset stripping and job losses and calls for a pause in the sale of the bank so that we can ensure it continues in the great role it has played since 2012.
The GIB is a tremendous Conservative success story. It was devised by the Conservatives pre-2010, probably by my hon. Friend the Minister, and was introduced by a Conservative-led Government, and it has been a great catalyst for investment in the green economy—I am thinking, in particular, of the Galloper wind farm off the East Anglian coast. There is a concern, however, if the press stories regarding asset stripping and job losses are to be believed, that it will not be able to perform that role in the future. In that light, will he consider a pause in the process so that we can ensure that the GIB continues to perform the great role it has played since 2012?
I agree with my hon. Friend’s opening comments about saluting what has been a great success story of the coalition—let us maintain the season of good will—but Conservative-led Government. It was the right thing to set up, it was we who did it and it has been a great success, having mobilised £8 billion of private capital into a critical area of infrastructure, according to the last figures. I can, however, assure him—he is far too experienced to be drawn or influenced too much by media speculation—that we are not being naive in this process. We have set clear criteria for the sale, we have run a genuinely competitive process and we are now evaluating the proposals before us, through the lens of the criteria we have set, which include value for money and reclassification. We are selling a going concern, and what we want to hear about are forward plans for a dynamic, ongoing concern seeking to mobilise more private capital into the green economy. He knows as well as anyone in the House that we need to mobilise a lot of private sector capital to get the clean energy we need.
Waveney District Council is conducting a Community Governance Review (CGR) for Lowestoft and the surrounding area and a Final Proposal has been published. Residents can use the Lowestoft CGR online consultation form to give their final comments on the proposal until 31 October 2016.
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