Poverty and Inequality

08.04.19

Bristol City Council makes ‘reckless’ £9m investment into clean energy firm

Bristol City Council is to put a further £9m into its loss-making energy firm in a decision criticised as “reckless” and a “staggering waste of public money.”

The council has already invested £27m into Bristol Energy and now plans to inject nearly £9m over the next five years, along with a five-year business plan for the firm in a bid to tackle fuel poverty.

But the company posted financial losses totalling £19.6m in its first two years of trading and has come under fierce criticism from some councillors.

Green councillor Jerome Thomas called the investment a “staggering waste of public money” from the perspective of the average Bristol resident, whilst Lib Dem councillor Tim Kent has questioned the continued use of public money to bail out the firm.

Deputy mayor for finance Craig Cheney defended the energy firm which he said had seen its customer numbers grow significantly despite “extremely challenging market conditions.”

At the authority’s cabinet meeting, the five-year business strategy and spending plan was approved which Chesney said will enable the firm to “adapt and thrive” under new leadership and management.

Bristol Energy was set up in 2016 to provide ethically-sourced low-cost energy – with the original aim of returning a profit by 2019, a date which has now been pushed back until 2021.

The five-year plan prioritises doubling the social value created for Bristol, supporting the city’s bid to meet its carbon neutral targets, and to achieve profitability as soon as possible.

Last week the city council voted to move forward in the search for private sector partners to work on future energy projects in Bristol as part of the £1bn City Leap initiative.

Chesney added: “Fuel poverty is crippling and for many in Bristol the choice is stark; eat or heat. The support we have provided Bristol Energy to date reflects our commitment to tackle fuel poverty whilst also introducing cleaner energy to the market.”

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

The National Audit Office's guide to cloud services

25/06/2019The National Audit Office's guide to cloud services

The National Audit Office’s digital transformation expert, Yvonne Gallagher, focuses on assessing the implementation of digital and related... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues that community-led initiatives are a productive way of helping to solve... more >
Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

19/06/2019Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

Aberdeen City Council’s hydrogen spokesperson, councillor Philip Bell, highlights the Granite City’s determination to play a leading ... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
Cheshire East seeing success with university partnerships in children's social care

25/06/2019Cheshire East seeing success with university partnerships in children's social care

Cheshire East Council’s director of children’s social care, Jacquie Sims, explains how a new approach to training programmes for social care workers has brought better results. K... more >
The National Audit Office's guide to cloud services

25/06/2019The National Audit Office's guide to cloud services

The National Audit Office’s digital transformation expert, Yvonne Gallagher, focuses on assessing the implementation of digital and related change programmes. Cloud services can bring ... more >

the raven's daily blog

New rules to change the future of Social Value

05/06/2019New rules to change the future of Social Value

The government has announced the introduction of new rules to change the future of social value and make the way housing developers stump up the money for infrastructure both simpler and more transparent. These regulatory changes are designed to help achieve its ambition to deliver 300,000 extra homes per year by the mid-2020s.  ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Being on the receiving end of some “thanks” can make communit... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues that community-led initiatives are a productive way of helping to solve... more >
Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

19/06/2019Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

Aberdeen City Council’s hydrogen spokesperson, councillor Philip Bell, highlights the Granite City’s determination to play a leading ... more >
A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

13/06/2019A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

A fifth of the country’s public sector workers say they have NEVER received a ‘thank you’ for doing their job as Public Service... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >

public sector focus

View all News