Peter Aldous welcomes the creation of the New Anglia LEP with green pathfinder status, the enterprise zone and the granting to the two ports of core status as centres for offshore renewable engineering as important foundation stones for a new and exciting industry in offshore renewable energy.
Peter Aldous (Waveney) (Con): I am grateful to you, Mr Deputy Speaker, for calling me to speak in this debate, which gives us an opportunity to review the Government’s work on the green economy over the past two years, and to provide some thoughts on how they should move forward over the remaining three years of this Parliament. My comments will, I hope, complement those of my hon. Friend the Member for Great Yarmouth (Brandon Lewis).
In what are difficult times financially, when we do not have as much money to go around as we would like, the Government have come forward with a full range of initiatives that will help to achieve the transition to a green economy. What is now required is, first, to see those policies through to fruition in order to ensure that they achieve their objectives and, secondly, to maintain the coherent, consistent policy framework that is necessary to provide long-term private investors with confidence and security.
East Anglia has an opportunity to play an important role in creating green jobs and helping to rebalance the economy. My colleague—my hon. Friend the Member for Great Yarmouth—and I have set out to make the case to the Government that, if they invest in the green economy in East Anglia, the area can play a pivotal role in promoting sustainable growth and creating new jobs. The Government have stepped up to the plate with the New Anglia local enterprise partnership, which covers Norfolk and Suffolk, being awarded green pathfinder status. I attended its conference last Thursday, when the objective was to work up proposals to include in the manifesto that it will present to the Government in the spring.
To help stimulate the green economy the Government have created an enterprise zone in Great Yarmouth and in my constituency, and they have granted the two ports core status as centres for offshore renewable engineering. Other initiatives that will help to create growth in the low-carbon economy are the green investment bank, the green deal and the roll-out of super-fast broadband.
A lot of work still needs to be done, but I believe that the foundation stone has been laid to create a new and exciting industry. I was going to move on to talk about the five challenges that we need to address, but I shall leave it to my other colleague, to my west and south, my hon. Friend the Member for Suffolk Coastal (Dr Coffey), to say a few words.
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