Oral Answers to Questions

Tim Farron Excerpts
Tuesday 21st May 2024

(1 month, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Justin Tomlinson Portrait Justin Tomlinson
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We are proud to have taken renewables from just 7% under the last Labour Government to 47% today, but my right hon. Friend makes a powerful point about the need to tackle clustering. The Secretary of State reiterated clear guidelines and advice for local authorities and planning committees up and down the country to make sure that we safeguard, wherever possible, our key agricultural lands as part of our commitment on food security.

Tim Farron Portrait Tim Farron (Westmorland and Lonsdale) (LD)
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Communities in Westmorland cannot afford for us not to be reducing carbon emissions. I think of communities such as Kirkby Stephen, Appleby and Kendal, all of which are listed as energy crisis hotspots. That means they have below average incomes, but above average energy prices. There are over 10,000 homes in need of loft insulation and 6,940 homes in need of cavity wall insulation in my communities. Will the Minister give resources to the excellent Cumbria Action for Sustainability to meet that need and decrease bills, and also perhaps revise the rules for ECO4 so the scheme better fits older homes in rural areas such as ours?

Justin Tomlinson Portrait Justin Tomlinson
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I thank the hon. Member. As on football, we agree on the principles. The Government are proud to have taken energy-efficient homes from 14% to 50%. Local initiatives can play a key part in that and I would be interested to learn more about the project he highlighted.