Wind farms - Communities to have final say

I’m very pleased to announce that the Government is introducing new measures that will see the law changed to give local communities the final say over planning decisions for onshore wind farms.

Wind turbines will only get the go-ahead if the members of the local community make it very clear that they support the proposed project in their area.

This will mean a freedom to decide where turbines should be placed and a requirement that any proposals must address the concerns of local people, as well as have their backing.

In addition to this, the law is to be changed in order to end bill-payer subsidies for new onshore wind farms from April 2016.

This will ensure that, while we are promoting renewable energy, we will be doing so in a way that protects taxpayers and keeps bills low for working people and families.

One of the issues I’ve tried to highlight in Parliament is how we need to focus on working families, individuals and small businesses in our handling of the economic recovery.

A recent report from the Federation of Small Businesses makes for some encouraging reading.

A whopping 65.3 per cent of small businesses plan to grow over the next year, and FSB members have reported record high profits, with a 24.1 per cent increase in revenues and a 17.4 per cent increase in gross profit.

What’s more, small firms have seen rapidly rising levels of productivity on a year-on-year basis.

Wage rises are now at the highest level in seven years, with more people finding jobs, and two million more people in work than in 2010.

Statistics show the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance dropped another 6,500 in May 2015.

Three quarters of the rise has been in full-time jobs, which are up by 1.3 million, with three-fifths in higher-skilled occupations, and we’re reforming the educational sector to make sure that young people are given the real skills that they and employers need.

At the other end of the career spectrum, we’re giving pensioners more flexibility on how to spend their pension.

All of these figures go to show that voters here in Lincolnshire and across the United Kingdom were right to vote Conservative and give us a chance to govern unencumbered by the Liberal Democrats.

The economy is on track, and the Prime Minister’s negotiations over Europe should only take more power away from bureaucrats and give it back to working people.

Sir Edward Leigh

MP Gainsborough Constituency