May 29th, 2015

Pickles’ parting shot

by Joe Papineschi and Gwen Frost We suspect that the departure of Eric Pickles from the role of Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will not be widely mourned amongst council officials. His replacement, Greg Clark, had a previous stint as minister of state in the department between 2010 and 2012, and subsequently […]


May 5th, 2015

Giving Greens the blues? The Conservative manifesto

by Martine Kurth   You can tell a lot about what matters to a party from what its manifesto addresses first and in most depth. The Conservative manifesto for the 2015 General Election focuses on giving a fairer deal to much-mentioned ‘hard working families’. The NHS, childcare, home-ownership, tax, welfare, and pensions feature strongly. The […]


April 17th, 2015

Twisting in the wind

by Laurence Elliott   As the May election draws nearer, the UK wind industry waits to see what effect the new government will have on the development of onshore wind. Back in December 2014, David Cameron told the Commons Liaison Committee of senior MPs that the Conservatives would not subsidise any new onshore turbines if […]


February 20th, 2015

Pickles, politics and power

by Peter Jones   “If you want to get anywhere in politics, you’ve got to be good at pushing on open doors. If you can’t resist pushing on closed ones, then you ought to have chosen another job.” That rather bleak assessment of the extent of ministerial power comes from C.P. Snow’s novel Corridors of […]


January 30th, 2015

Better out than in?

by Hulda Espolin Norstein   If the UK was to leave the European Union, what difference would it really make to our environmental laws? UKIP’s increased influence on the political agenda and David Cameron’s eurosceptic-appeasing promise to hold an in/out referendum has rapidly turned the UK’s exit from a pipe-dream to a real possibility. Both […]


October 21st, 2014

Risk and reward: is it worth bidding for DCLG’s Recycling Reward Scheme?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

by Clare Pitts-Tucker   Eric Pickles is making something of a habit of conjuring up pots of money to promote his pet policy proposals. Undeterred by the experience of the £250m Weekly Collection Support Scheme (WCSS), which proved quite an expensive way to persuade one authority to revert to weekly collections, he has now established […]


September 19th, 2014

Blowin’ in the wind: the role of wind in UK energy policy

by Chloe Bines   This summer has seen record generation from wind energy, with the UK’s wind turbines delivering more energy than our declining coal plants on several days and even managing to outstrip nuclear on 29th August. Over the course of August wind energy met 10% of power demand, a substantial contribution, although still […]