» Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Asked for a read out from Cabinet, the PMS replied that Cabinet lasted around an hour and fifteen minutes. The main item for discussion was nuclear and energy issues, a very good discussion with many interventions from members of the Cabinet. As the Prime Minister indicated there would be a broad wide ranging statement from John Hutton on Thursday. The second issue discussed was public sector pay, led by the Chancellor as he talked about in the press conference, on multi-year pay deals for different parts of the public sector in line with those of Civil Service and Departments. There was also an update from the Foreign Secretary regarding the situations in Kenya and Pakistan. Again both of those were alluded to by the Prime Minister in his press conference earlier today.

Asked who the enthusiastic supporters were for the public sector having multi-year pay deals, the PMS replied that she was not going to get into the negotiations, but the Prime Minister had set out that there had been a range of interest expressed, and individual departments were expected to be speaking to their stakeholders and employees regarding these deals in the coming days and weeks.

Put that the Prime Minister seemed to imply that the workforce was crying out for these changes, the PMS replied that there had been a wide range of voices talking about this – with interest in the stability that such deals would bring about both for departments in their planning but also for individuals.

Asked when the Government wished for this to kick in, would it be in time for the next pay round, the PMS replied that it would be wrong to pre-empt exactly when things would start, but she thought we could expect a fairly brisk set of discussions.

Put that this three year deal had been characterised by some as the return to the social contract, and asked if we had any comment on that, the PMS replied that she was not going to get into how people would describe what was being proposed. As was discussed at length during the press conference, we were aiming to inject the sort of stability and ease of planning that came about with longer term pay deals which we had seen demonstrated through the departments.

Asked if anyone in Cabinet stood up to oppose a new generation of nuclear power stations, the PMS replied not that she was aware of.

Asked if this meant there was unanimous support for a new generation of nuclear power stations, the PMS replied she was not going to get into the precise details of discussions, but that John Hutton would be very clearly setting out the Government’s position.

original source.

Briefing took place at 16:45 | Search for related news

1 Comment »

  1. There is a risk that focusing on new nuclear plants will undermine attempts to find cleaner, greener, more sustainable and secure solutions to the problems we face from global warming, climate change, high prices and fuel shortages.

    New Nuclear Plants cannot be built and start electricity generation in a few weeks or months, or even years. However, if one tenth of the taxpayers’ contributions to nuclear technology over the years were to be invested in loans to help individuals and business consumers reduce their demands for conventionally and centrally generated electricity and gas, then we would easily be able to reduce our dependence on centralised and vulnerable power sources, (by an average of at least 50% over each charging period in many cases) within the time it takes to make, order and install the equipment.

    By installing solar panels for heating water, and the new vertical bladed wind turbines, which require airflows of only 2-3 m/s to efficiently generate electricity, individuals and businesses can dramatically reduce their needs for gas and electricity from fossil fuel sources. Turf roofs and rainwater collection for flushing toilets can reduce water (and therefore energy) consumption, and help to attenuate rainwater runoff wherever there are buildings.

    Community waterwheels and wind and wood burning power schemes, as well as the very efficient combined heat and power stations for district heating and air conditioning can sell surplus electricity back to the National Grid for others to use, thus also reducing others’ demands on centralised fossil fuel and nuclear powered energy sources.

    Elizabeth Kent, Hampshire


    Comment by Mrs E M Kent — 11 Jan 2008 on 10:13 pm | Link

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