Oldham Liberal Democrats welcome Commons debate on local electricity bill

Crompton Councillor Dave Murphy has welcomed the hugely successful adjournment debate held in the House of Commons last Wednesday (14 October) in which MPs from all parties supported the Local Electricity Bill.

Councillor Murphy, with his Liberal Democrat colleague from Shaw, Chris Gloster, proposed a motion at the July 2020 meeting of Oldham Council in support of the Bill. This received cross-party support on the night making Oldham Council one of 56 Councils across the UK to endorse the Bill.

The Local Electricity Bill if it becomes law will make it easier and cheaper for local companies to be set up to supply electricity generated from renewable sources to local people.

Councillor Murphy said: “The present arrangements are too complicated and too costly to allow local electricity companies to compete in the marketplace. At a time when more and more people are keen to become involved as shareholders and supporters of renewable energy co-operatives, more and more people are becoming interested in buying their electricity locally from these same co-operatives. It makes perfect sense to marry the two up and this Bill would, if it became law, make this so. Hopefully it would lead in the long-term to local renewable energy companies supplying the people of Oldham with their energy.”

Councillor Chris Gloster added his support: “Ironically although the Bill is new, the concept of locally produced electricity for local people is not. In times past, we had windmills to grind corn and water wheels to power factories. And during our industrial heyday we had an Oldham Corporation electric company which powered trams, businesses and homes in the Borough.”

The Local Electricity Bill currently has 208 MPs supporting it, and one of its primary sponsors is the Liberal Democrat MP for Bath, Wera Hobhouse. The Bill will receive its Second Reading in the House of Commons in January 2021.

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