Time to take fuel poverty seriously
THE soaring price of energy is affecting everyone, and the hardest hit are the poorest, who cannot afford to turn on the heating.
If we continue to rely on fossil fuels, bills are likely to rise in the long term as coal, oil and gas become more expensive and renewable technology gets cheaper. Fossil fuels are also driving climate change and polluting people’s land, especially in developing countries.
Yet, the big UK banks continue to pour billions of pounds into new coal, oil and gas projects around the world, and the Government is doing nothing to stop them. Perhaps this is not surprising: research by the World Development Movement shows that a third of ministers in the Coalition Government have personal links to either the big fossil fuel companies or the finance companies that bankroll them.
We need a government that takes fuel poverty and climate change seriously, not one that puts the profits of big companies before all else.
No to regulation
BRIDGET Phillipson MP continues to campaign for the regulation of bus services.
Such regulation would do nothing to improve those services – Nexus propose essentially the same network as operates now with its Quality Contracts scheme.
It is all very well to seek a “London style” system but Tyne and Wear isn’t London. We do not have anything like the large, highly-concentrated and increasing population. Nor do we have hundreds of millions of pounds a year to pour into bus services.
Most, if not all, the claimed benefits of a regulated, quality contract system would be available under a voluntary quality partnership scheme as proposed by the bus companies.
The advantages of such a voluntary scheme would mean it could be introduced more quickly, avoiding the financial risk of the bus services falling upon council taxpayers (with the danger of higher counncil tax bills the result). It also avoids extra bureaucracy and keeps the running of the services in the hands of professsional bus managers rather than letting councillors get their hands on it.
Councillor Peter Wood,
Conservative transport spokesman
I HAD a similar experience with the Parking Eye company as Mrs Crute (March 26). I received a parking charge notice alleging that I had parked in the Sunderland Royal
Hospital Consultants car park on February 7 this year. The photographic “evidence” showed a picture of the car on a road from both the front and rear and not parked. The parking charge was £40 if paid within 14 days of the date issued or thereafter £70.
As I was certain I had parked correctly and paid the necessary £2, I disputed the charge.
The penalty was cancelled on a technicality – I had omitted one number from my registration number when booking in.