MP to help energy plans

PUBLISHED: 14:02 27 July 2015

James Heappey, Wells MP.

James Heappey, Wells MP.

Archant

A SOMERSET MP will be at the heart of future decisions over the UK’s energy, after he was elected to join the Government’s Energy and Climate Change Select Committee.

Conservative James Heappey, who was elected to serve the Wells constituency in May, took up his position during the committee’s first meeting on July 15, and will help to shape the future of the country’s energy policy.

Mr Heappey has previously spoken out over on-shore wind power and proposed developments at Brent Knoll, and said he was ‘excited’ about the potential of tidal energy within the area, with a tidal lagoon around Bridgwater Bay mooted earlier this year.

The committee’s remit includes scrutinising existing policy, as well as the expenditure and running of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and associated public bodies, including gas and electricity regulator Ofgem.

Mr Heappey said following the committee’s first meeting: “I hope to use this as a platform to discuss the many energy related issues affecting our part of Somerset.

“We will agree our programme for inquiries after consulting stakeholders this summer but clearly, I will be keen to discuss things like pylons, fracking, the citing of renewable energy schemes and the opportunities for tidal and wave energy in the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel.”

Mr Heappey is one of five Conservative MPs on the committee, alongside four Labour members, Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael and the SNP’s Angus MacNeil, who will act as chairman.

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