This post is by Duncan Hames MP. It was first published by The Guardian.
Tackling climate change and restoring the public finances both require a long term view, but politics continues to be driven by short term considerations.
A lack of long term thinking in government undermines effective policy making, and that really matters when it comes to the environment. The threat of climate change demands action now but, by its very nature, we won’t see many of the benefits of that action – or the consequences of inaction – for decades to come. Read more
This post is by Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham. It is one of a collection of essays to be published later this week by Green Alliance, titled Green liberalism: a local approach to the low carbon economy. Similar collections will also be published under Green Alliance’s ‘Green social democracy’ and ‘Green conservatism’ projects, as part of our Green Roots programme, aiming to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK. This piece has also been published on Liberal Democrat Voice.
A one size fits all policy, devised at a distance, imposed on local communities and implemented rigidly, is unlikely to rise to the environmental challenges we face today. That’s why we should give Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) the freedom to grasp this challenge in a different way to traditional bodies, such as central government and Regional Development Agencies (RDAs).
LEPs are characterised by their variety. Most contain local enterprise zones, but others do not. Some receive local authority funding in addition to government grants, but others have set up as limited companies, enabling them to fund themselves. This diversity is echoed in their approaches to green growth: several have set out as trailblazers; while others would do well to follow that lead. Read more