Alan Whitehead

Labour MP for Southampton Test

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Guide dogs, 6th formers and renewable energy

This week was varied, from being led on a blindfolded walk by Taylor the Guide Dog, to showing 6th Formers from a local school around Parliament, to some great talks about the future of renewable energy. Read on for more details


I started my day off being led down Portswood High St by Taylor the Guide Dog. I was blindfolded and the trip highlighted some of the hazards that blind people can face on a day to day basis such as badly parked cars and other street furniture. You can find out more about my trip here. 

I spent the rest of Monday with SAVE (Southampton Achieving Value through Efficiency) and other agencies in Southampton discussing what can be done to increase energy efficiency in our city. We are already quite good at this, with out local authority at the top of the list for energy efficient LA's but more can always be done. 



On Tuesday I continued the work I've been doing with Simon Letts, Leader of Southampton City Council and the University of Southampton on getting solar panels installed on businesses' roofs.

Then it was back to Parliament where I had a Q&A with 6th formers from Richard Taunton's 6th Form College. They were very tough questioners, I think Southampton might have a few future Paxman's on their hands. 

On Tuesday I also had a meeting with WWF on energy policy. WWF are doing some great work at the minute on energy policy so it was great to have a chat about the areas we can work together. 


I was proud to be asked to be the keynote speaker at the NextGen conference speaking about new energy technologies. I also had a meeting with  APSE who are working with local authorities on moving towards a community based energy provision. This is a model that has worked well in places such as Nottingham and something that is front and centre in the Labour Energy and Climate Change team's list of energy priorities. 


I had an interview about shale gas and fracking, over which I have some concerns. I also met with PRASEG, now I'm a shadow minister I can't sit as chair on PRASEG but I look forward to working them as closely as ever on finding solutions for sustainable energy. 


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