Author Archives: Duncan Hames MP

Duncan Hames writes: Local Enterprise Partnerships and low carbon development: what works and what doesn’t

This is the last of three extracts from the forthcoming collection of essays Green liberalism: a local approach to the low carbon economy. Similar collections will be published under Green Alliance’s ‘Green social democracy’ and ‘Green conservatism’ projects as part of the Green Roots programme, which aims to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK. 

A one size fits all policy, devised at a distance, imposed on local communities and implemented rigidly, is unlikely to rise to the environmental challenges we face today. That’s why we should give Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) the freedom to grasp …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 3 Comments

Help develop Party policy in two new working groups

The party’s Federal Policy Committee has recently decided to commission policy working groups on the implications of an ageing society (to be chaired by Paul Burstow MP) and on equalities (covering all the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act).

These groups will be writing policy papers intended for debate at the party’s Autumn 2014 conference and will need to start work as soon as possible.

We are very dependent on the voluntary efforts of our members to bring their time, fresh ideas and clear thinking to our policy working groups.

I’d like members, especially those who can often be …

Posted in News and Party policy and internal matters | Tagged | 1 Comment

Duncan Hames MP writes… Help shape Party policy in two new working groups

The Federal Policy Committee is advertising for members for two new policy working groups: Reform of Public Services, and Tackling Crime and Reform of the Criminal Justice system.

The Public Services group will look at overarching issues relevant to all public services, including themes like decentralisation and user empowerment, and also address specific policy issues in major services like education and health.

The other group will look at all aspects of preventing and reducing crime and the fear of crime, through the whole range of policy interventions.

Both groups are expected to produce policy papers for the Autumn 2014 party …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged , and | 4 Comments

Duncan Hames MP writes… Must we continue to use food for fuel?

The European Union is currently committed to ensuring that 10% of each Member State’s transport energy will come from biofuels by 2020. This originated as a well-intentioned attempt to combat climate change, but time has shown that using food for fuel can have devastating impacts on hunger and the environment. I’ve come to accept that it is time for a re-think.

In addition to concerns over their green credentials, biofuels are now recognised to be a key cause of hunger, affecting millions of people in developing countries. The World Bank, OECD, WTO, IFPRI, IMF, and five other UN agencies recommended …

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Duncan Hames writes… We must think more deeply about how to rebalance the economy

Despite the much-vaunted claims of “an end to boom and bust”, the last decade, in fact, saw continuing fossil fuel dependency and a credit-driven boom, followed by a financial crisis. Our economy has been propped up by levels of public borrowing, which in Europe have proven to be impossibly large, and have led to levels of unemployment that are an appalling waste. The Labour Government undeniably failed to deliver sustainable prosperity for the UK.

In the years since the global financial crisis first struck, the economy has consistently remained a dominant public policy concern. The effects of the financial crisis hit …

Posted in Op-eds | 40 Comments

Duncan Hames writes… Time to value

Almost every working person knows their salary or their hourly rate. Some can even express it as a fraction of the cost of hiring a plumber. Yet our time outside work lacks similar recognition in the choices we make: we should value our time for more than just the contribution it can make to our household budgets and material needs.

There is strong quantitative evidence that beyond a level of around £15,000 per year, extra income has little improving effect on a person’s well-being: put bluntly, the extra money doesn’t pay you back for your time. Despite this, British employees are …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 12 Comments

Duncan Hames MP’s maiden speech

Back when Cix was the main way of talking to other Lib Dems online, a tradition emerged of posting Lib Dem MPs’ maiden speeches so that people could read them and respond – a tradition LDV would like to continue. Earlier today, we read Simon Wright’s speech, and tomorrow we will bring you David Ward.

Duncan’s speech is also available to view here at the Parliament website until 1 June 2011.

Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to make my maiden speech so early in this Parliament. I congratulate the hon. Members for Harlow (Robert Halfon) …

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Campaigning with Nick and Vince in Chippenham

Have you ever wondered what senior MPs like Nick Clegg and Vince Cable do while the other parties have their conferences? Well, I can tell you: they don’t sit at home watching them on the television, instead they take the chance to get out of Westminster and visit our teams in key constituencies around the country. Today it was our turn, when they both came to the Chippenham constituency here in Wiltshire.

Parliamentary candidates, like me, are always delighted to get a visit from well known Lib Dem MPs. It opens doors in the constituency, interests the local media, and provides a chance to say thank you to some of the team.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 3 Comments
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