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Social Enterprise UK’s Chief Executive Reveals 2017 Wish List For Ministers



peter holbrook speaking cropped by Social Enterprise UK via flickr

Peter Holbrook, chief executive at Social Enterprise UK, has revealed the following new New Year wish list for Ministers as the social sector enters 2017.

For BEIS Ministers

Include social enterprise in the Industrial Strategy

“Social enterprises employ more than a million people, and contribute over £24 billion GVA to the economy. Social enterprise is one of the UK’s few success stories in recent years and the movement should form part of the Industrial Strategy by right.”

Support community energy

“Community energy has been undermined by changes to the tariff regime and tax relief in the last few years. It’s now time to have another look at how Government can best support the vital, and popular, policy of community owned and produced energy.”

For DCMS Ministers

Strengthen the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012

“The Government is right that third sector organisations should be used to help shape and deliver public services, but if it’s serious about improving commissioning, then – as the Centre for Social Justice and others have said – it needs to strengthen the Social Value Act

“The Government has made some important and helpful announcements in the past few weeks around bus franchising and procurement. It’s now time to tidy up the different announcements and provide some statutory clout to the raft of helpful new guidance coming out.”

For DCMS/DfT Ministers

Kick start the mutual programme with train companies

“Go on, admit that George Freeman MP, Chair of the Prime Minister’s policy board, is right and that mutually owned train companies offer a way forward. Passengers seem to be increasingly taken for a ride by some of the franchises and its time that all the stakeholders had a say in way our railways are run.”

For DH ministers

Increase the role for social enterprises in health and social care

“They are innovating, improving patient outcomes and balancing the books – exactly what the system needs for a sustainable, high-quality service in future.”

For DFID Ministers

Prioritise fairer trade

“Jobs are ultimately the best way out of poverty, but they have to be fairly paid jobs. DFID should have a focus on growing social enterprise within developing countries, and supporting UK-based social enterprises who work in developing countries.”

For DexEU Ministers

A social Brexit with a Fair Market Economy

“Britain seems to have rejected European style social democracy. I’m not entirely convinced the country wholeheartedly wants US style free markets. The Government has a once in a lifetime opportunity to shape the kind of economy we have. As others have said, the UK wants a social Brexit with a Fair Market Economy.”


A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon




energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”



IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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