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Month: June 2017

General Election 2017

Those of you who’ve read Cneifiwr’s latest post, about his canvassing experiences, will I’m sure have enjoyed him waxing lyrical about wrens and shimmering vistas, country lanes and tinkling rills . . . well you’ll get none of that fancy bucolic stuff here. This is the opinionated old git section of the Welsh blogosphere. Last Thursday gave us what was perhaps the strangest election of my lifetime. Not just because of the result and the way the Tories lost the commanding lead they’d held at the start of the campaign, but also because of the combination of factors not present in earlier elections, specifically, the recent surge of the SNP, the influence of Brexit, UKIP and the realignment of that party’s deserting voters, and post-election, the entrance of the DUP. So let’s consider the bigger picture before looking at the results in Wales. ♦ NORTH OF THE BORDER The Unionist parties and the London media are cock-a-hoop over the ‘defeat’ suffered by the SNP, but was it really such a defeat? In the 2010 general election the SNP won 6 seats out of a total of 59; in May 2015, following the independence referendum of September 2014, the party won 56 seats, gaining 50% of the vote (an increase of 30%). That was clearly a freak result, that was unlikely to ever be repeated. On Thursday, support for the SNP...

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Everyone’s a Loser?

“Oh no, not another one”, so said Brenda from Bristol, speaking for us all. No one but Mrs May, whilst worrying sheep in Snowdonia, thought this was a good idea, but also not many foresaw that so many of the British people would agree, and back Brenda all the way, punishing Mrs May for making them get their brollies out and vote in the rain on Thursday.   Probably a good 20% of the population who might have considered staying at home in the face of Hobson’s Choice at the ballot box came out to say in a very...

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Innovation Short | Public Health Wales and Orangebox save 134 tonnes of C02

Innovation Short | Public Health Wales and Orangebox save 134 tonnes of C02 In 2016 Public Health Wales (PHW) relocated to a new large open plan office in Cardiff Bay incorporating the transfer of around 500 staff. PHW wanted to create a unique workplace environment designed to encourage a collaborative, social and learning focused work place which embedded sustainability as a core principal. Public Health Wales has embraced the three pillars of sustainability – environmental, economic and social sustainability and so this was incorporated in to the brief produced for furnishing the building. In order to achieve the retrofit PHW took a new and innovative approach to procuring office equipment, furnishings and flooring using as much reused and remanufactured equipment and products as possible. As an organisation dedicated to improving public health and well-being, PHW felt that this should be central to activities, including procurement of goods and services, and the refit was identified as an opportunity to demonstrate this approach. They already had a large number of quality furniture and fittings in their existing offices across Wales and it was felt that these items, with some cleaning, refurbishment and re-design, could be repurposed for use at the new office space in Cardiff Bay instead of being sent to landfill, and could be combined with other new or re-used items in a cohesive and functional style appropriate for the...

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A Smart Energy Future for Rural Areas

A Smart Energy Future for Rural Areas New paper from Smart Energy GB examines how smart technology is energising rural community energy projects across Great Britain Smart technology is helping rural communities harness renewable energy and benefit from energy that is cheaper, more efficient and more secure, according to a new report from Smart Energy GB and Arad Research. A smart energy future for rural areas explores some of the most successful examples of community energy projects in rural areas across Britain, looking at the future opportunities to build upon these as Britain’s smart meter rollout continues. Smart meters, which are being offered to every home in Great Britain by energy suppliers, take automatic meter readings and provide a rich source of data on times and levels of energy use. The report explores examples of projects using smart energy, data, and technology to manage the supply and demand of electricity. These include Cyd-ynni: Ynni Lleol in Bethesda, a project that uses power from local hydro-electric generation combined with smart meter data to provide local residents with cheaper electricity from a renewable source. Savings of between 10 and 30 percent on energy bills are forecast for the 90 households taking part in the project. The paper shows the potential for smart meters to play an essential role in increasing the efficiency and security of local energy supplies. Sacha Deshmukh, Chief Executive of...

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Final Call: the last Welsh Poll of the campaign

The final Welsh opinion poll of the 2017 general election shows Labour on course to maintain their long-standing dominance of electoral politics in Wales. It also shows the Conservatives on the brink of their highest vote share here for more than a century. Both Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats, however, appear to be facing their worst general election result for many years. The final Welsh Political Barometer poll of the general election campaign was conducted between Monday and today. Our pollsters, YouGov, have sought to provide our final measure of voting intentions as close as possible to election day itself. After a campaign that has seen wild fluctuations in the opinion polls, and particularly so here in Wales, this is what our final poll has found in terms of voting intentions for the general election (with changes on the last Barometer poll, conducted just over a week ago, in brackets): Labour: 46% (no change)Conservatives: 34% (-1)Plaid Cymru: 9% (+1)Liberal Democrats: 5% (no change)UKIP: 5% (no change)Others: 1% (+1) There are no big changes since our previous poll; all movements are well within the ‘margin of error’. Using the normal method of projecting these polling numbers – computing uniform national swings since the 2015 general election for all forty constituencies in Wales – then our latest poll implies the following overall result (with projected seat changes from the 2015...

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